KOCHI: Investigating agencies are widening the probe into the growing network of Islamic State (IS) sympathisers in the state with special wings of defence units launching parallel operation to help NIA and the state police track down all the local fractions supporting and promoting the radical propaganda.
Officers said special units of Ministry of Defence (MoD) have upped their surveillance in Kerala based on specific information that IS sympathisers are into certain operational activities in the state. “The units have strengthened surveillance across all the states in South India focusing mainly on Telangana, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. We are following certain leads which may result in more arrests in the coming days,” officers said.
Various special units of the MoD widened the probe into the IS activities in South India after receiving verified intelligence information pointing to an alarming level of activities being undertaken by the IS sympathisers in various places in South India.
“It’s certain that many fringe groups are operating in Kerala and are very much active on social media to attract more youths. The agencies are not in a position to take things lightly in the wake of Sri Lankan serial bomb blasts,” an officer said adding collecting evidence and tracking people involved in these kinds of activities are not easy.
A research report titled “Uncovering the influence of ISIS in India” by Kabir Taneja in Observer Research Foundation (ORF) says social media is being widely used by the radical group to expand its base in India. “Almost 95 per cent of all cases in India started from the online sphere, and not necessarily ended in contact with either ISIS or pro-ISIS recruiters, but with access to the hordes of general propaganda that includes text documents, videos of executions, speeches by prominent clerics.
The most common apparatus for contact and outreach between most cases has been Facebook, which is an anomaly given global trends. The uses of Facebook range from direct messaging to creating new profiles specifically for pro-ISIS activities using dedicated mobile phones and numbers...”