A United Nations report on terrorism has cautioned that there are a sizeable number of ISIS terrorists in the Indian states of Kerala and Karnataka, adding that the ISIL Indian affiliate (Hind Wilayah), which was announced on May 10, 2019, has about 180 to 200 members.
According to the 26th report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team concerning ISIS, “One Member State reported that the ISIL Indian affiliate (Hind Wilayah), which was announced on 10 May 2019, has between 180 and 200 members. According to the report, there are significant numbers of ISIL operatives in Kerala and Karnataka.”
Al-Qaida’s Indian branch, AQIS, planning terror attacks in the region
The report also noted that terror group Al-Qaida in the Indian subcontinent (AQIS), which operated under the Taliban umbrella from Nimruz, Helmand and Kandahar provinces, reportedly has 150-200 active terrorists in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar, and is planning to carry out terror attacks in the region. The report mentioned that the attacks are planned to avenge the death of its former leader.
“Al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) operates under the Taliban umbrella from Nimruz, Helmand and Kandahar Provinces. The group reportedly has between 150 and 200 members from Bangladesh, India, Myanmar and Pakistan. The current leader of AQIS is Osama Mahmood (not listed), who succeeded the late Asim Umar (not listed). AQIS is reportedly planning retaliation operations in the region to avenge the death of its former leader,” the UN report said.
ISIS declared a new “province” in India in May 2019
Last year, ISIS claimed that it has created a new “province” in India through its Amaq News Agency. An area located within the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir was called by the ISIS as “Wilayah of Hind” or Hind province. The announcement, first of its kind, was made after clashes between the terrorists and security forces in Kashmir.
Earlier, ISIS terrorists active in Kashmir were linked with its so-called Khorasan Province branch, which was established in 2015 to cover “Afghanistan, Pakistan and nearby lands”.
ISIS terrorists active in Kerala and Karnataka
Recently, a charge-sheet filed by the National Investigation Agency in the murder of Special Sub Inspector Wilson exposed the nexus of the ISIS terrorists active and flourishing in the states of Kerala and Karnataka. The preliminary investigation in the murder of SSI Wilson had revealed that his murderers were “self-declared jihadists” who killed the police personnel to avenge the arrest of their ISIS associates—Mohammed Haneef Khan (29), Imran Khan (32) and Mohammed Zaid (24) by the Tamil Nadu police in Bengaluru in January 2020.
According to the investigation, Khaja Mohideen was found to be a member of the banned terror outfit Islamic State of Iraq and Syria(ISIS). Since May 2019, he had indoctrinated and radicalised Abdul Shameem and Thowfeek on the jihadi ideology, provided them with training and arms, and enlisted them to carry out terror attacks against the establishment.
Kerala—a hotbed of ISIS terrorism in India
The state of Kerala has become a fertile hotbed for recruiting youths for Islamic terrorist organisations. A raft of people from the Southern state of Kerala has joined the ISIS ranks. According to the sources, both men and women are fighting for the terrorist organisation in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries where it operates. Kannur tops the list of cities and towns from where a majority of people in the state have fled to join the terrorist organisation.
As per data recorded last year, approximately 98 people had joined the Islamic State from Kerala. Out of these 98, 38 were believed to have been killed while 60 were still alive fighting for the organisation. As of June 15, 2019, 40 including 8 women from Kannur had been a part of the ISIS. Apart from Kannur, radicalised youths from Kasaragod, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Ernakulam, Thrissur had also shunned their towns and fled to the middle-east to wage their jihad under the flag of ISIS. According to the intel, pro-ISIS Malayali groups operate from the gulf countries and they specifically targeted Muslims of Kerala and indoctrinated them to take up the arms for the terror group.