Why Tamil Nadu has become a paradise for the ISIS

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When Haja Fakkruddin a resident of Paranagipettai near Cuddalore went of the radar, the writing was clear on the wall. The problem of Jihad had come to haunt Tamil Nadu.

Yesterday the Home Ministry directed the Tamil Nadu government to complete probes into all terror cases and looking at an Intelligence Bureau report it becomes amply clear that the problem of Jihad will continue if not curbed.


Haja was one of the first from the state of Tamil Nadu to join the ISIS. He has been off the radar and very much in Syria since the past year and with him comes the problem of recruitment as well.

The danger from the fringe groups

Groups such as the Al-Ummah which have operated successfully out of areas such as Salem have been the problem for quite sometime. The Al-Ummah which shot to fame during the Coimbatore blasts have gradually managed to drill their agenda into the mindsets of many which has led them to at least 80 from the state being lured towards the ISIS.

While groups such the Al-Ummah have carried out targeted political murder there is a scanner on the non-profit organizations that have come into the picture in Tamil Nadu.

The targeted killings by the Al-Ummah of Hindu leaders in several parts of Tamil Nadu have had a fierce reaction which has led to communal tension.

This has been made use of by the fringe groups and also some NGO's in Tamil Nadu to lure youth into joining the Syrian War with the ISIS. Youth have been lured into the fold of the ISIS on the pretext that it is only the ISIS that can save Islam.

ISI, Al Qaeda have failed to penetrate

Both the ISI and the al Qaeda have made several attempts to lure the Tamil Muslims into their fold. However they have not succeeded. The recent busting of a module operating out of Colombo to target Tamil Nadu only brought to light that the success rate of the ISI in Tamil Nadu was extremely poor.

The ISI tried to rely on some former LTTE members who joined them only out of desperation, but never shared their view point or ideology. After the Chennai train blast last year, the Al-Qaeda did make an attempt to infitrate into Tamil Nadu and create the Southern Mujahideen. However it never had any takers.

Tamil Nadu has been bound by language rather than religion or ideology for several years and this has been one of the reasons why no terror group has been able to penetrate into the state.

How did the ISIS succeed?

The case of the ISIS in Tamil Nadu is however surprising. The concept derived by the ISIS has worked well and they have managed to catch the imagination of several youth from the state. There were several youth who had in fact come out in the open and displayed T-shirts of the ISIS. Although not a crime at that time since the ISIS was not banned, it was still a signal of things to come.

The Al-Ummah managed to lay the ground work by stirring up communal passions which had in turned led to insecurity among many. The ISIS and its call for the Caliphate was another attraction for several youth.

It was being repeatedly drilled into the minds of several youth that the insecurity that they are facing can be cured only by the ISIS. The ISIS has a concrete agenda of setting up a Global Islamic Council unlike the ISI or the al Qaeda which have very region specific battles. This is how the ISIS with its propaganda managed to score over the rest.

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