While looking at ISIS in Kerala, why we must not lose sight of Bengal
New Delhi, May 13: Even as the intelligence agencies assess the threat posed by the Islamic State, the danger that stares at us is the rapid pace at which the outfit is growing in West Bengal.
To focus extensively on Bengal and Bangladesh, the ISIS had appointed Abu Mohammad al-Bengali as the emir. While, India had managed to keep the situation under control, there is a new lurking danger emerging in the aftermath of the suicide bombing in Sri Lanka.
It has been found that the ISIS has been aligning with local radical groups to spread its wings of terror. Investigations carried out by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) show that the ISIS has tied up with several radical Islamic groups in Southern India in the past couple of months.
The case is similar in Bengal as well. For long radical groups have been in touch with the ISIS. An Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer tells OneIndia that the ISIS works closely with the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen in both Bengal and Bangladesh. The Bangladesh wing of this outfit, JMB had set up shop a few years ago. The first signs of what this group actually planned was visible during the Burdwan blasts.
The plot was to create a large number of bombs and carry out attacks both in Bengal and Bangladesh. Further terror attacks and targeting liberals in Bangladesh were found to be the handiwork of the JMB, which over the years has been largely inspired by the Islamic State.
Investigations conducted by the NIA also found that operatives of the ISIS were in close touch with JMB men who carried out the Dhaka cafe attack. Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials say that the ISIS tapped the JMB due the large network the group has in Bangladesh and Bengal. The ISIS inspires and funds the attacks to be carried out by the JMB. It is a worrisome situation as the network of the JMB is deeply infested in Bengal, the IB says.
Post the Burdwan incident, it was found that the JMB had around 500 operatives in Bengal and Assam alone. Officials say that the JMB-ISIS nexus is not restricted to Bengal and Assam alone. They have a strong network in these states, but were planning on expanding operations into Jammu and Kashmir as well.
Further investigations found that a major operation was being planned in Srinagar. One of the operatives was asked to carry out a reconnaissance at Dal Lake. The ISIS was happy with the plan of carrying out a stabbing attack on foreigners at the Dal Lake. However, the operation was foiled thanks to the security agencies.
Informed sources tell OneIndia that the ISIS is trying to expand its network across the country. It is already in touch with radical groups in Kerala and Tamil Nadu and we are witnessing the same thing in West Bengal as well. The officer says that we are staring at a dangerous situation and unless the infiltrations are completely curbed and appeasement is shunned, the fight would be a futile one.
Former officer with the Research and Analysis Wing says that the situation is as dangerous as ever. The security agencies need to be given a free hand or else, the days is not far when Bengal turns into another Kashmir.