ISIS in Kerala: Are we witnessing a pattern?
In the past month there have been six persons who have been deported from the UAE to Kerala for suspected ISIS links.
With the Intelligence Bureau suggesting that four more persons are on their way, the National Investigation Agency now wants to probe whether a trend is emerging in Kerala linked to the ISIS.
Several persons have been deported only to be let off after questioning. It is very hard to establish a case when persons have posted material online or are even browsing through sites sympathetic towards the ISIS, an NIA official informed OneIndia.
What we want to find out is that if there are any specific recruiters who are looking to pick up youth especially from Kerala to join the ISIS.
Kerala is not new to radicalization
There are several instances to show that several youth from Kerala are prone to being radicalized. Intelligence Bureau files would show that the highest number of Wahabi preachers and their funds land up in Kerala.
An incident in which a youth from Kerala was killed while fighting alongside Jihadis in Kashmir a few years back was an eye opener. In fact this was for the first time that non-Kashmir from India was found fighting in Kashmir.
In addition to this there have been other instances as well in which youth from Kerala have been indoctrinated into terror groups.
A meeting of youth at Wagamon in Kerala in the year 2007 saw the birth of the Indian Mujahideen. These are not stray incidents, but over the past several years, Intelligence Bureau officials have warned that Kerala is soon becoming a fertile ground for recruiters.
Is Kerala turning into an ISIS recruiting ground?
The Kerala state and central agencies say that the youth who were deported were let off after questioning. However they would keep a watch and also probe further if there is a pattern involved.
There are several cases where recruiters are trying to get their hands on Kerala youth.
The police are also investigating a case in which a whatsapp group was created by a person called Shami with the number +1509871-0700.
The group was reportedly formed to recruit youth from Kerala. It was found that there were messages being posted on this group which directly indicated that an attempt to recruit was on.
An intelligence bureau official tells OneIndia that attempts galore are being made by recruiters. Several youth from Kerala have shown signs of radicalization.
Be it praising Osama Bin Laden after his death or offering prayers for Ajmal Kasab, there have been several such instances reported from the state. It is necessary to see if there is a pattern involved, the officer also said.
The secret terror camp:
The National Investigation Agency had recently probed a case relating to the formation of the Indian Mujahideen at a camp in Kerala. One person by the name Sattar was deported from the UAE in the year 2013 and during the questioning he had spoken about this camp and how the IM was born.
Officials will look at this case closely now since a majority of the Indian origin recruiters for the ISIS are from the IM. The IM in fact broke away to form the Ansar-ut-Tawhid the primary recruiting agency for the ISIS from India.