Chennai, Feb 3: Out of the 150 persons who are under watch for alleged ISIS links, 90 are from South India, intelligence bureau officials say. The manner in which these persons have been interacting with handlers and recruiters shows the extent up to which the ISIS has impressed them.
Tamil Nadu was largely off the terror radar in comparison to other states. However things began to change gradually and when the Cuddalore based Haja Fakkruddin left his home for Syria.
In this case it was found that he had first moved to Singapore and then to Syria to join the ISIS. This was almost two years back and there is still no word on him.
The problem in Tamil Nadu
The ISIS threat has been looming large in Tamil Nadu. There are pockets where the problem persists. There are some groups that are actively involved in radicalising the youth and in the Haja case it was found that the operation was carried out by the Tauheed Jamaat.
While it is not yet clear whether the government in the state has realised the magnitude of the problem, several organisations are now coming up to counter this threat. Ahlah-e-Sunnat Wal Jamaath Federation is one such organisation which is doing its bit to curb the menace.
The role that this organisation will play is two fold. On one hand it wants to drill sense into the heads of these radicalised youth the dangers of being part of the ISIS. On the other hand it also wants to urge the Tamil Nadu government to crack down on groups which are supporting the cause of the ISIS.
The organisation says that there are several groups in South which are promoting the cause of the ISIS and a crack down is necessary.
The Haja Fakkruddin case is a classic example of how some of the groups are radicalising the youth in Tamil Nadu. It may be recalled that one person from Cuddalore was deported two years back from Singapore.
During the questioning of this computer engineer he revealed how he had radicalised Haja. He further added that he was involved with the Tauheed Jamaat. He also said that he had given Haja radical writings and speeches of 20th century Islamist thinker Abul Ala Maududi and radicals like Anwar Al Awlaki and Abdul Raheem Green.
Though the government is tightlipped about the incident, Fakruddin left for Syria via Turkey in November 2013 but returned disillusioned to India a month later after he and his family were put up in Chechen rebel camps in Syria.
"Fakruddin was motivated again in January in Chennai to join jihad. He left for Turkey the same month and there is no trace of him or his family," said a senior official, adding it was important to zero in on Indians who radicalised the Singapore nationals before more people were motivated to join jihad.