66 Indian Muslims fighting for ISIS abroad: The top contributors are Tamil Nadu, Kerala
New Delhi, Dec 17: The US State Department said that 66 Islamic State terrorists of Indian origin were operating abroad with the global terrorist organisation.
The report also said that none of the Indian ISIS terrorists were repatriated. Within India, through the end of September, the National Investigation Agency had investigated 34 terrorism cases it indicated were related to ISIS and arrested 160 persons, the annual Country Reports on Terrorism for 2020 issued by the department's Bureau of Counterterrorism said.
Although ISIS lost its territory in Syria, new branches that surfaced in 2019 in Pakistan and India continued to operate, the report said.
While the first cases of Indian Muslims joining the ISIS were reported from Syria and Iraq, off late the problem has been in Afghanistan. A number of persons from Kerala had in 2019 left for Afghanistan and joined the Islamic State Khorasan Province.
Four women were among the 21 who left Kerala to join the ISKP in Afghanistan.
Earlier this month, the NIA court in Kochi sentenced a Wayanad native to 5 years imprisonment for travelling to Afghanistan in an attempt join the ISIS. Nashidul Hamzafar, 29, a resident of Kalpetta, pleaded guilty to the charges.
The ISIS menace in India has been more in the southern part of the country. The National Investigation said that it has arrested as many as 1168 accused in 37 cases related to the Islamic State.
Chargesheets have been filed in 31 cases and 27 were convicted after trial.
Not just Kerala, the problem is intense in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka as well. When one speaks
In January a case was registered in Bengaluru against one Mehboob Pasha who in association with Khaja Moideen an accused in several cases in Tamil Nadu formed a gang to recruit Muslims in South India for the ISIS.
This group also identified Burdwan in Bengal, Ratnagiri in Maharashtra and Jambusar in Gujarat to spread their ideology. The primary intent of this module was to recruit Muslim youth and send them to join the ISIS in Afghanistan. Further they also planned that the local module would target Hindu leaders.
The NIA's IG, Alok Mittal had said at a conference that the highest known recruits from India are from Tamil Nadu with the number at 33. He had said during a 2019 conference that out of the 127 known recruits from India, 33 alone were from Tamil Nadu. Since 2019 several have died and today as per the US report the known number of Indian Islamic State terrorists stands at 66.
Out of the 127 Indians who joined the ISIS, 21 are from Kerala. The figures for the rest of the country are Uttar Pradesh (1(, Telangana (14), Maharashtra (12), Karnataka (8) and Delhi (7).