With PFI banned, agencies probe international links and hand in ISIS recruitment
The links with foreign countries have been on scanner for long after it was found that several persons linked to the PFI had joined the ISIS and many had travelled to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Turkey
New Delhi, Sep 30: With the Popular Front of India now banned, the enforcement agencies are looking at the outfit's links with some extremist elements in foreign countries.
The scanner is particularly on Turkey which has been commenting a lot on the internal affairs of India.
The links with foreign countries have been on scanner for long after it was found that several persons linked to the PFI had joined the ISIS. Several persons linked to the outfit had travelled to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Turkey, the agencies have learnt.
The recent incidents of violence especially during the anti-CAA protests had also brought up the role of the PFI and the international links. Turkey, in particular, has adopted a three-pronged strategy against India. Several extremist elements would stay in touch with those trying to cause disaffection in India and fuel the violence further.
The agencies had also found that some members of the PFI had visited Qatar where they met some people from Turkey. Some of the executive members of the PFI had visited Istanbul where they were hosted by a charity organisation linked to the Al-Qaeda.
If one also studies the growth of the Islamic State in India, it can be seen that the strongest roots are in South India. Kerala and Tamil Nadu have the highest number of people who have joined the Islamic State, data would show. Officials tell OneIndia that most of these persons have had links with the PFI.
Data by the US State Department said that 66 Islamic State terrorists of Indian origin were operating abroad with the global terrorist organisation. Within India, through the end of September, the National Investigation Agency had investigated 34 terrorism cases it indicated that were related to ISIS and arrested 160 persons, the annual Country Reports on Terrorism for 2020 issued by the department's Bureau of Counter terrorism said.
While the first cases of Indian Muslims joining the ISIS were reported from Syria and Iraq, off late the problem has been in Afghanistan. A number of persons from Kerala had in 2019 left for Afghanistan and joined the Islamic State Khorasan Province.
Four women were among the 21 who left Kerala to join the ISKP in Afghanistan.
The NIA's IG, Alok Mittal had said at a conference that the highest known recruits from India are from Tamil Nadu with the number at 33.
He further said that 21 are from Kerala. The figures for the rest of the country are Uttar Pradesh (1), Telangana (14), Maharashtra (12), Karnataka (8) and Delhi (7).