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From Ansarulla in Tamil Nadu to PFI in Kerala, the feeder modules of the ISIS down South

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New Delhi, July 15: Probing further into the activities of the Islamic State, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has unearthed more local modules in South India that have been supporting the dreaded terror group.

The NIA has arrested 14 persons from different parts of Tamil Nadu in connection with an Islamic State related case. The suspects will be taken to New Delhi for questioning. The NIA has been probing this case for over a month now and has found that the ISIS through its feeder outfits has propagated the ISIS ideology in the state.

From Ansarulla in Tamil Nadu to PFI in Kerala, the feeder modules of the ISIS down South

Earlier the NIA arrested two persons, who were part of a module that was propagating on behalf of the Islamic State in Tamil Nadu. Hassan Ali and Harish Mohammad, residents of Nagapattinam district, Tamil Nadu were arrested by the NIA.

Arrest spree in Tamil Nadu continues as NIA looks to bust ISIS module

It may be recalled that the NIA busted a gang which conspired to establish Islamic rule in the country. The NIA conducted searches in Chennai and Nagapattinam in connection with the Islamic State case. The NIA searched the the office and house of What-e-Islam Tamil Nadu leader, Syed Mohammad Bukhari. It may be recalled that in raids conducted last month, the agency had arrested six persons.

During the raids, the NIA had seized incriminating documents and learnt that they were propagating on behalf of the Islamic State. Further, it was also found that these persons were propagating the ISIS ideology on the social media and were also aiming at recruiting youth in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

The accused persons, while being within and beyond India, had conspired and conducted consequent preparations to wage war against the Government of India by forming the terrorist gang Ansarulla. It has also been learnt that the accused persons and their associates had collected funds and made preparations to carry out terrorist attacks in India, with the intention of establishing Islamic rule in India.

The Islamic State threat that had remained under control in India, could well spin out of control. In order to keep this under check, the agencies are closely monitoring local radical groups especially in Southern India, who could be deriving support from the ISIS.

Down south there are several radical outfits such as the Popular Front of India (PFI), which follow a very similar ideology of the ISIS as well as the NTJ. The ISIS which has made inroads in southern India could extent support to several radical groups like it did in Sri Lanka, a senior official with the Intelligence Bureau (IB) said.

While there has been a considerable build up on the ground, the agencies have tracked the online activities and say that it has been menacing. Radicalisation largely happens through groups on Facebook. Most of the pro-ISIS accounts of Malayalee groups are operated from the Gulf.

These groups specifically target Muslims from Kerala. The target audience is not restricted the residents of Kerala alone, but to those Malayalee youth working abroad. The NIA which is currently investigating this case says that there are many such accounts that specifically target those from Kerala. It is a menace and a huge racket, due to which several youth have gone missing and later joined the ISIS.

NIA busts ISIS backed Ansarulla in Tamil Nadu that tried to set up Islamic rule

In 2016, the NIA busted a module comprising six members running an ISIS module. During the probe it was found that these persons had been active on the social media and would use fake identities. They would frequently change their profiles to escape scrutiny.

They were even running a group on Telegram called kudumbam, which means family. During the probe, the NIA learnt that two persons were working with a Malayalee daily Thejas, which is the mouthpiece of the PFI.

One of them Safwan was said to be active in the SDPI, which is the political arm of the PFI. The NIA suspected that the module was headed by one Manseed, a resident of Panur. He was working as an office assistant in Qatar and had come to Kerala after applying for leave. He is said to have organised a meeting of the module, the NIA learnt.

More recently the NIA arrested on Riyas Aboobacker and during the investigation, he revealed that he was plotting suicide bombings in Kerala. In 2016, the NIA busted a module comprising six members running an ISIS module. During the probe it was found that these persons had been active on the social media and would use fake identities. They would frequently change their profiles to escape scrutiny. They were even running a group on Telegram called kudumbam, which means family. During the probe, the NIA learnt that two persons were working with a Malayalee daily Thejas, which is the mouthpiece of the Popular Front of India. One of them Safwan was said to be active in the SDPI, which is the political arm of the PFI. The NIA suspected that the module was headed by one Manseed, a resident of Panur. He was working as an office assistant in Qatar and had come to Kerala after applying for leave. He is said to have organised a meeting of the module, the NIA learnt.

The NIA said that during interrogation, he has disclosed that he has been in online contact with absconding accused Abdul Rashid Abdulla alias Abu Isa for a long time and has been following his audio clips including the clip which he had circulated on social media platform instigating others to carryout terror attacks in India.

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