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Islamic State finds new methods to increase spread in Kerala

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New Delhi, Dec 19: Amidst fears of the returnees of the Islamic State making their way back into Kerala, the Intelligence Bureau has stepped up vigil. A close watch is being kept on all activity and many who are returning to Kerala are high on the scanner.

Islamic State finds new methods to increase spread in Kerala

The cyber wings of the agencies are keeping a close watch on chat groups that have been created on Telegram and also Wickr. There is more activity on Wickr these days when compared to Telegram, an officer with the Intelligence Bureau informed OneIndia.

Kerala's ticking time bomb: The silent returnees of the Islamic State are back

The Telegram was replaced with Wickr as tracking chats on it are difficult. This application works without having to enter a phone number of email address.

IB officials say that on one hand several recruits are attempting to return to Kerala, while on the other there is hectic activity online to rope in more persons into the outfit. The IB says that they have found a pattern behind this recruitment process.

A team keeps a close watch on those who are commenting on jihadi related content.

Many share or re-post the messages. Such persons are being tapped into by the recruiters, the officer also says.

There is a two pronged strategy that the agencies have found now especially in Kerala.

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They want the recruits who are returning from countries such as Afghanistan, UAE, Syria and Turkey to stage lone wolf attacks. The other is to recruit as many persons as possible and spread the propaganda online. Kerala has been a friendly place for such activities. The involvement of several local groups from Kerala has also been found. They help in carrying forward the ISIS ideology further.

The returnees:

However the prime focus is now on the returnees. This was the big plan says an IB official. He says that the intention of leaving the country was not continue fighting in Afghanistan or Syria. It was largely with an intent of undergoing training and then returning to India, with an intention of carrying out attacks, brainwashing locals and also setting up modules.

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The Indian agencies, apart from Syria are also focusing on those persons returning to Kerala from UAE and other West Asian countries. The task on hand is humongous. The problem is that they do not come in batches. They come in as individuals and then go about their business.

The other problem is keeping a track on those who have left from other states. The focus so far has been extensively on those who have joined the ISIS from Kerala. The possibility of those who have left from other states coming to Kerala is also high. This poses a different level of threat all together as monitoring such persons is hard, says the officer.

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