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A PFI linked module of 2016 and the spread of the Islamic State ideology in south India

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A powerful module affiliated with the PFI had planned to kill judges, policemen and politicians as part of their plan to wage war against the state. This module operated mainly in southern India

New Delhi, Oct 01: The investigations being conducted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) revealed that a very powerful module affiliated with the Popular Front of India (PFI), which was banned earlier this week, had planned targeted killings of high-profile personalities.

The module that was busted by the NIA goes by the name Ansar-ul-Khilafa KL. The module comprising 10 members had planned to kill judges, policemen and politicians as part of their plan to wage war against the state. This module operated mainly in southern India.

A PFI linked module of 2016 and the spread of the Islamic State ideology in south India

In 2016, the module came to light when the NIA arrested four persons from Kannur district in Kerala. In 2018, the NIA filed a charge sheet against accused persons Manseed Muhmood, Swalih Mohammed, Rashid Ali, Ramshad NK, Safvan, Jasim NK and Shajeer Mangalassery for criminal conspiracy and various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

With PFI banned, agencies probe international links and hand in ISIS recruitment With PFI banned, agencies probe international links and hand in ISIS recruitment

Officials tell OneIndia that the motive of these persons was to further the activities of the ISIS in Kerala. The group had become dangerous and was also looking to raise funds, recruit across Kerala and other parts of south India. The module was being overseen by Omar al-Hindi, who is suspected to be based out of Syria.

They would exchange material over online platforms and also speak about how to build a strong module in South India and carry out strikes. They had also planned on carrying out lone wolf strikes in the south, officials also said.

The NIA has said that the PFI has been radicalising the youth to join the Islamic State. The problem has not been restricted just to Kerala. The Islamic State has managed to spread its tentacles to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka as well.

In its 2016 charge sheet, the National Investigation speaks about the role of Mohammad Naseer, a computer engineer in his mid 20s. Naseer was heading to Libya from Sudan, but was apprehended and later deported to India.

He did his computer engineering from the MNM college in Chennai. It was at this time that he would visit a mosque at Chennai which was run by the Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamath, non-political Islamic Organisation that preaches a puritanical version of Islam.
This group was founded by P Jainul Abdeen in 2004, when he broke away from the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam. The role of the ISIS in Tamil Nadu was unraveled in a big way in 2014. In August 2014, the police arrested Abdul Rahman and Mohammad Rizwan from the Ramnathapuram district on the charge that they were distributing t-shirts with the ISIS emblem. A photo showing 26 youth posing with the t-shirt in front of a Mosque at Thondi had surfaced on the social media. While the police were not able to find any direct link with the outfit, it, however, showed that the ISIS was gradually being received in the state.

In Tamil Nadu, there are several groups which have been trying to wade off this threat. The high number of radicalisations in the state since early 2013 had left security agencies and many members of the Muslim community worried.

Now PFI faces digital takedownNow PFI faces digital takedown

Intelligence Bureau officials tell OneIndia that the threat in TN is not just from the ISIS. The Al-Qaeda through its various shadow outfits have set up shop in the state. One such outfit is called the Base Movement, which subscribes to the Al-Qaeda's ideology.
The combination of terror groups in the south comprises both underground and overground operatives. There are groups such as the Al-Ummah which operate openly and focus largely on political hits. The blast at Coimbatore or the one outside the BJP office in Karnataka in 2013 all bore the signature of the Al-Ummah as the attacks were political in nature.

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