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Radicals in Kerala could use Kabul bombings as inspiration to recruit more for ISIS

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New Delhi, Aug 27: The suicide bombings at the Kabul Airport are a grim reminder that the Islamic State cannot be written off as yet.

Representational Image

A few months back, it was being said that the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) had stopped getting the desired traction it may have hoped for. Several of its people were killed while many others were arrested. In this context one must recollect that the ISKP has managed to attract nearly a 100 people from Kerala alone. This became more evident when it was revealed that the gunman involved in the Kabul Gurudwara attack was from Kerala. 25 people were killed in that attack.

Earlier this month, the mother of Nimisha Fathima urged the Indian government to bring her daughter back from Afghanistan. Fathima along with her husband and several others had left Kerala to join the Islamic State in Afghanistan a few years back. Her husband was killed in an air strike, following which several ISIS operatives had surrendered before the Afghanistan government. With the Taliban taking over, it freed many of these operatives from jail.

The Indian government has held its position that it would not let the ISIS returnees into the country. The Intelligence Bureau has flagged concerns about letting these people back into the country.

Kabul bombings: Taliban will eventually provide safe haven for Islamic State and terror in generalKabul bombings: Taliban will eventually provide safe haven for Islamic State and terror in general

While that position of the Indian government is clear, the worry now is that the Kabul bombing shows that the ISKP is alive and kicking. Officials tell OneIndia that such a bombing may inspire many from the country especially Kerala to find a way into the outfit. There are many radical elements who are already inspired by the Taliban victory and this bombing may only help them recruit more.

Abhinav Pandya, a Cornell University graduate in public affairs and a policy analyst says that the policy of not letting the ISIS recruits returning to India is a right call. They can be extremely dangerous if allowed to come back. When they return they come with a tag and we should exhibit no such tolerance and let them return. They will become heroes and can be an inspiration for many, Pandya also adds.

In its chargesheet against an ISIS operative, the NIA said that the outfit was in the process of setting up an ISIS Daishwilayah or province inside the jungles of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. When it was unraveled in 2020, the NIA said that this was the first of its kind plot.

The NIA in its chargesheet said that there were 20 members part of this module, which was headed by Mehboob Pasha, a Bengaluru based operative and Khaja Moideen from Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu. They had planned on visiting Shivanasamudra in Karnataka and identify a place in the jungle where training could be imparted.

The official cited above said that these are dangerous trends. Terror recruitments thrive on attacks and the Kabul bombing could do just that in India. Intelligence agencies continue to keep a close watch on the ISIS in India, especially down south as much of the problem is there. The social media handles too are being closely monitored as most of the recruitments and radicalisation takes place online, the official also explains.

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