UN report warns of ISIS presence in Karnataka, Kerala

Says 150-200 terrorists planning to avenge their leader Asim Umar’s killing; NIA charge sheet against 17 accused also makes mention of threat

Published: 26th July 2020 06:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th July 2020 06:24 AM   |  A+A-

Jihadis, ISIS, Al Qaeda

Representational image of ISIS members

Express News Service

BENGALURU: A United Nations (UN) report on terrorism has warned that there are “significant” numbers of Islamic State of Iraq & Syria (ISIS) terrorists in Kerala and Karnataka. The report has warned that the terror organisation — al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), which reportedly has between 150 and 200 militants from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar, is planning attacks in the region to avenge the death of their leader Asim Umar. Umar alias Sana-ul-Haq hailed from Sambhal in Uttar Pradesh.

He was killed in September last year in a joint military operation by US-Afghanistan forces. The AQIS is now headed by Mahmood Osama, a Pakistani cleric who was earlier the spokesperson of the proscribed terrorist organisation. The UN’s 26th report of the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team concerning ISIS, al-Qaida and associated individuals and entities comes close on the heels of the charge sheet filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), earlier this month against 17 accused in the Bengaluru ISIS module case, most of whom have been arrested.

The NIA had stated that the accused from Kerala and Karnataka had floated a terrorist organisation, ‘Al Hind’, which was planning to execute terror strikes in South India. “The Bengaluru ISIS module is reportedly inspired by the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) or IS-K, which has presence in Central and South Asia,” said an official source. The NIA on July 13 had arrested two persons – Nabeel S Khatri and Sadia Anwar Sheikh — from Pune, who are allegedly associated with the ISKP and were reportedly in touch with a Kashmiri couple — Jahanzeb Sami Wani and his wife Hina Bashir Beigh — who were arrested by the NIA in March this year from Delhi.

The federal agency, in the charge sheet, had stated that ‘Al Hind’ was founded in April 2019 from the house-cum-office of an accused, Mehboob Pasha, in Bengaluru with the objective of carrying out terror attacks in South India and for establishing the Islamic Khilafat in India. “‘Al Hind’ is reportedly ‘Hind Wilaya’ (Province of India), which finds mention in the UN report,” the counter-intelligence officer added.

On March 25, the ISKP, or IS-K, had executed a terror attack on a Gurdwara in Kabul, killing 27. Muhammed Muhsin alias Khalid al-Hindi and Sajid Kuthirummal from Kerala were reportedly behind the attack.


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