Why is the Islamic State roping in Malayalam, Tamil speaking recruiters
New Delhi, May 11: It is now a well known fact that the Islamic State has become the primary sponsor for local radical groups in India. The Sri Lanka bombings showed clearly that the ISIS had tied up with the National Towheed Jamath (NTJ) for the attacks.
Investigators and Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials have learnt now that the ISIS has recruited a large number of persons based on the language that they speak. This, officials say has been done to target a select audience of a particular state.
In the ISIS South India module case, it has been found that those speaking with the local radical groups were conversing in the local language. Those fluent in Tamil and Malayalam were recruited with a specific purpose of targeting the local radical groups.
Language is a great leveller and hence the ISIS has adopted this strategy, an IB officer told OneIndia. With the fall of the Caliphate in Syria and Iraq, it was expected that the ISIS would look to move out and strike in other places. Prior to the fall, an audio message of Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi was circulated in which he was heard telling his fighters to return to their homelands and strike there.
An analysis conducted post the Easter bombings suggested that neither the NTJ nor the ISIS could have acted on its own. The NTJ was just a fringe group, while the ISIS had lost considerable ground and hence needed each other to carry out a bombings on such a large scale.
The NIA which is probing an ISIS related case has also learnt that the Sri Lankan bomber Zahran Hashmi had visited Kerala and Karnataka. Sri Lanka suggested that it could have been with an intention of finding allies down South. The ISIS too has focused extensively in the Southern States since the past many years. Dozens of people from Kerala and Tamil Nadu have joined the ISIS over the past five years and either left for Afghanistan or Syria.
A report in the Atlantic states that the ISIS has recruits fluent in what are essentially regional languages. An IB officer who was part of 'Operation Chakravyuh' that was launched track ISIS operatives, says that they had come across several instances when a recruiter was trying to radicalise in regional languages such as Tamil and Malayalam.
The ISIS which tapped the NTJ in Sri Lanka is looking to tie up with local radical groups, which follow similar ideology. 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 IB says.
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.