The 21 persons from Kerala who went missing and were tracked to Afghanistan are currently active on the social media trying to instigate others, sources in the National Investigation Agency tell OneIndia. All these persons have been tracked to a camp at Jalalabad in Afghanistan, NIA sources also say.
These persons are suspected to have joined the IS in Afghanistan which operates under the banner of the Wilayat Khorasan. Probe officials say that these persons have not been on the battlefield since their entry into Afghanistan through Iran. They have been tasked with bringing in more people from India into Afghanistan.
An NIA officer said that some of them are busy on the social media luring youth to join them. "There is a close watch on their activities," the officer said while also adding that the Kerala police too have been alerted about more such cases.
The NIA probe shows that these persons from Kerala left the country in separate batches between June and July in 2016. Some of these persons told their families that they had reached their 'final destination'. They however did not reveal exactly where they were. These persons hailed from Kasargod and Pallakkad in Kerala.
Initially, it was suspected by the Kerala police that these persons may have joined the IS in Syria. However, intelligence that trickled in from Iran indicated the presence of these persons in Afghanistan. Indian agencies then coordinated with their counterparts in Afghanistan and after months of tracking it was found that they were settled in a camp in Jalalabad.
The IS has been nurturing ambitions in Afghanistan. "Although it has not met with much success, it is attempting to set up several camps with a majority of the operatives being from India. The Indian operatives too have preferred joining the camps in Afghanistan due to proximity to India and similar cultures."