ISIS rises: How radical-violent Islam poses a threat to Tamil Nadu
Chennai, Dec 20: In a significant development, the National Investigation Agency conducted searches at seven locations in Tamil Nadu in connection with an Islamic State related case.
The NIA said that searches were conducted in three places each in Chennai and Coimbatore and one at District Villupuram. The main contention by the NIA is that seven persons who were arrested in connection with this case were defending radical Islam and were propagating about the same on the social media.
The investigation into this case began with the arrest of five persons from Coimbatore. The ones to be arrested were Ashiq (25), Ismail (25) from Dindivanam, Salavuddin (25) from Otteri, Jafar Sadiq Ali (29) from Vyasarpadi near Chennai and Shamsuddin (20) from Pallavaram in Chennai.
Ismail in his confession had said that Ashiq had promised them help for their operation. The NIA says that Ismail had links with the ISIS. The intention was to carry out a major operation on Ganesh Chaturthi. These developments are significant in the wake of the murders in Coimbatore.vMunnani spokesperson C Sasikumar in 2016 and an atheist H Farook in 2017 were murdered by radical Islamic groups.
NIA officials tell OneIndia that the problem is a deep-rooted one. These persons are operating under the name of the Islamic State now. They are part of the same radical set up which has been propagating violent Islam.
These operatives have been trying to propagate radical and violent Islam in several places at Tamil Nadu. Coimbatore, Cuddalore and Chennai are some of their key areas of operation.
The first known ISIS recruit from India was in fact a resident of Cuddalore. Haja Fakkruddin, it may be recalled had in early 2014 left for Syria through Singapore to be part of the ISIS. This was followed by a series of events related to the group and there was an image on the social media that went viral, in which several youth were seen posing with ISIS merchandise.
The threat of the ISIS has been looming large in the state and there are several pockets where the problem is severe. While looking into Haja's case, it was found that he was radicalised by a Cuddalore based group.
Haja is not the only operative from Cuddalore to have joined the ISIS. A computer engineer was deported recently from Singapore. He said that it was he who had introduced Haja to this organisation, following which he was radicalised.
During the various searches, literature relating to the ISIS had been found. Speeches of the 20th century Islamist thinker Abul Ala Maududi have been found in the possession of several youth. Further the police have also seized compact discs which had the speeches of radical elements such as Anwar Al Awlaki and Abdul Raheem Green.
In its 2016 chargesheet, 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.