New Delhi, Nov 26: South India continues to be a major concern for the Indian Intelligence Bureau as there are undercurrents suggesting that almost all terror groups are focused on this side of the country.
While several terror plots to carry out attacks in South India have been busted, there is still a great deal of concern.
Take the case of Chennai which almost faced a 26/11 like attack. This was a plan hatched by the ISI through its Sri Lanka module and had this attack succeeded, the chaos would have been un-bearable.
It is not just the Lashkar-e-Tayiba which focuses on South India. The ISIS too poses a major worry for agencies down South. Out of the 23 cases of Indians joining the ISIS, just four are from Maharashtra while the rest are from South India.
The first Indian recruit into the ISIS was from South India:
It all began with a person by name Haja Fakkruddin. He set the ball rolling for the ISIS to recruit cadres from South India. For the purpose of recruiting and sending youth to the ISIS from South India, a dedicated route had been established.
A recruit would first be told to go to Singapore on a work or holiday permit. He would need to spend a couple of months there before being launched into Iraq or Syria.
However with this route being busted by the police, it was then planned to travel to West Bengal by train. From there they would be transported illegally into Bangladesh before being taken to an ISIS den in Iraq or Syria.
Indian Intelligence officials say that the concern primarily is in South India and there are a variety of reasons for the same.
For starters South has been lesser affected in cases of terror when compared to the Northern or Western states. In states that have been affected by terrorism to a large extent, youth have been taking a back seat owing to extensive policing and many are actually fed up.
However in South which has remained by and large peaceful the youth have not faced the brunt of the policing problem. Hence with groups such as the ISIS coming in, the youth have decided to give it a go and join the outfit. This is however one part of the problem.
The other major reason for South to become a recruiting point is due to major influence of the Gulf. States such as Kerala and parts of Tamil Nadu have borne the brunt of the Wahabis who have managed to change the perception of Islam among the youth.
States such as Kerala and parts of Tamil Nadu and now even Karnataka are turning into hot beds. Let us also not forget the Karnataka coastal belt. Places such as Bhatkal have produced founder members of terror outfits such as the Indian Mujahideen or the Ansar-ul-Tawhid.