Kerala : NIA arrests trigger concerns over ISIS sleeper cells

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Amidst growing concerns of rise in extremism among Muslims in Kerala, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) apprehended several persons in the State over terror-related charges. This also led to a rise in suspicions about the existence of Islamic State sleeper cells operating in the State.

Kerala: NIA arrests trigger concerns over ISIS sleeper cells, increased propaganda over social media

— (@OpIndia_com) September 27, 2021

Recently, the NIA also filed a charge sheet against Mohammed Ameen of Malappuram, Mushab Anwar of Kannur and Rahees Rasheed from Kollam. A suo motu case was filed against a group of individuals involved in terrorist activities with Mohammed Ameen. Ameen had been running Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) propaganda channels on a number of social media platforms like Telegram, Hoop and Instagram, to spread violent jihad, radicalization and recruitment of new members.

NIA also arrested two women from Kannur for having connections with Ameen and spreading ISIS terrorism using social media platforms. The NIA investigations revealed that IS is trying to spread its tentacles in India through extensive online propaganda. According to reports, NIA had investigated 37 cases of terror attacks, conspiracy and funding that were inspired by the IS ideology. 168 accused were arrested in these, 31 charge sheets filed and 27 accused convicted after trial.

Recently, in a leaked internal document, the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Kerala also raised grave concerns about pro-Taliban sentiment among the Muslim community. The document said, “It is a matter of serious concern that discussion supporting the Taliban is happening in Kerala while it is being condemned by the believers of Democracy across the world, including the Muslim community at large”. CPI (M) has directed its student union and party cadres to reorganise itself and counter the growing radicalisation. It warned of a ‘conscious effort to turn Christians against Muslims in Kerala, who constitute 26% of the population (2011 Census data).