Tracking the IS in India

Discussion in 'Strategic & Geopolitical Issues' started by Tejasmk3, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. Lion of Rajputana
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    Lion of Rajputana Lieutenant FULL MEMBER

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    Yup. I like a lot of what you said in your comment: monitoring mosques subtly, creating a serious counter radical, more nationalistic narrative using their own religion, and last of all India needs to get up to date when it comes to the cyber field (whether it's cyberwarfare and security against countries like China, or monitoring and cracking down on radical websites etc)
     
  2. ranjeet
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    ranjeet FULL MEMBER

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    Why is Kerala a fertile land for the ISIS?

    While some believe that the youth joining the ISIS were disillusioned with the Mujahid movement’s progressive agenda, others think that the availability of jihadi literature on social media could have swayed them. Most, however, debunk the idea that money lured them into fleeing their country to join the radical Islamic terror group.

    Lush, green landscape. Stunning beaches. Scenic backwaters. And mountain treks. Kerala is a tourist's delight. The Association of British Travel Agents ranks it eighth in the 12 destinations to watch in 2017, higher than the US, Italy, South Africa and Vietnam. But there's trouble brewing in paradise. And Padanna is in the thick of it.

    Padanna is a sleepy little hamlet in the Kasargode district of north Kerala. You could easily miss it on the map. But it has gained notoriety in the last few years for sending young men and women to join the IS.

    Mubaris is your average, middle-class boy in T-shirt and jeans. He loves football and enjoys hanging out with friends. Born into a Muslim family, Mubaris and his siblings received modern education. Like their late father, Mubaris's elder brother Murshid also landed a job in West Asia. All was well until June 2016 when Murshid and 21 other young men and women from Kerala left home to join the IS.

    According to various studies, a large number of IS recruits come from countries where Muslims, by and large, feel isolated. But India, and certainly Kerala, would not fall into that category. They enjoy a syncretic tradition and a culture of assimilation. So what is it about Kerala that makes it vulnerable to this combustible mix?

    Padanna is not exactly America's Wild West. Like the rest of Kerala, the village enjoys a high literacy rate and a high degree of civic consciousness, too. It also boasts of high social development indices, particularly when it comes to the status of women and social welfare programmes. Over the years, many from these parts have travelled abroad, especially to West Asia, where they established successful careers or businesses. Remittance plays a big role in Kerala's economy. In 2015, people from Kerala repatriated more than $14 billion.

    The people of Padanna are as bewildered as they are hurt by repeated references to their village as a fertile ground for IS cadres. Some doubt whether the youths indeed joined the IS. Others claim that some messages sent by the youths to their families back home suggest that they had reached the land of Islam. For their part, the elders of the Muslim community are reticent and resent being seen as the 'other'. They certainly don't welcome the prying eyes of the media.

    However, Muslim youths are more forthcoming. Mubaris's friend, Riyaz, says that those who allegedly joined the ranks of IS might have been motivated by a desire to practise the doctrine of Salafism voluntarily, not out of coercion.

    "They would not have done it for money. They grew up here like the children that you see playing football here," Riyaz says, pointing to a group of children nearby. "Some of the youths went to study in Bengaluru or Mumbai. We respected them as our brothers. We noticed a change in them after they became regulars at the mosque."

    What is confounding is that all the young men and women were in their 20s and 30s and some had degrees in engineering, medicine or management with well-paying jobs.

    VPP Musthafa, an academic-turned-political activist, says that it is generally agreed that radicalisation of youths is a threat but there is little or no consensus or understanding on how to tackle it, or where to begin. "They (the youths who joined the IS ) did not have any political or religious affiliation. That is what is strange about this situation."

    The number of Indian nationals who might have joined the IS is fewer than 100. So, in absolute terms and also as a percentage of India's population, their number is minuscule as compared to some other countries of the world. But they pose a security threat, especially for a country such as India, which is already at the receiving end of cross-border terrorism emanating from its immediate neighbourhood. The spectre of hardened IS recruits only adds to India's woes and raises the threat of lone wolf attacks. But what is even more worrying for India is that a majority of the IS recruits come from Kerala and many have since been learnt to have relocated closer home to Afghanistan, where the Taliban and Pakistan's deep state are active. According to some Indian media reports, Indian intelligence agencies have traced some of these youths to Afghanistan's eastern province of Nangarhar, bordering Pakistan.

    Padanna is still coming to terms with the situation. There are no easy answers yet to some of the questions swirling in Mubaris's mind. For a state that prides itself on being called 'God's Own Country', the quest for understanding man's relationship, or the lack of it, with god has taken a curious turn.

    THE ROT WITHIN

    So how deep and wide is the IS footprint in Kerala? Ramesh Ramachandran finds out.

    On January 5, police in Kerala raided a chain of schools run by Islamic preacher MM Akbar. His Peace Educational Foundation describes itself as a "Muslim Initiative standing for a paradigm shift in the field of education."

    According to local media reports, Akbar is suspected of having links with some Indian nationals who either joined the IS or recruited people to join its ranks. The schools are also accused of teaching six- or seven-year-olds objectionable content from outside the prescribed curriculum or textbooks. Last month, the police apprehended the publishers of the textbook.

    Akbar is described as Kerala's Zakir Naik, who is a Mumbai-born Islamic preacher, orator and televangelist, accused of indulging in unlawful activities and possible terror links. Akbar, who is reported to be in Qatar, has since denied the allegations.

    Here are the other dramatis personae:
    • Abdul Rashid Abdulla, described as the main recruiter for IS in Kerala
    • Sonia Sebastian alias Ayesha, Rashid's first wife who was born a Christian but converted to Islam after marrying Rashid. He disappeared with her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Sara.
    • Yasmin, who hails from Bihar, married Rashid after they worked together at a Peace School in Kerala. Yasmin was arrested from Delhi in 2016.
    • Sajeer Abdulla Mangalassery, an engineering graduate from the National Institute of Technology, Kozhikode, in north Kerala
    • Bexin Vincent alias Eeza, an MBA; and
    • Nimisha alias Fathima, who was born a Hindu but converted to Islam after marrying Vincent.
    [​IMG]

    Our quest for information led us to the Chandera police station in Kasargode, where the police shared the names of more youths from adjoining areas who allegedly joined the IS. At least 11 of the 22 youths from Kerala who joined the terrorist group belong to Padanna and adjoining areas. They disappeared within a span of a few months in 2016, all allegedly recruited by Rashid:

    • Mohd Marwan (23)
    • Hafeezuddin T.K (23)
    • Firoze Khan (24)
    • P. Ashfaq, Shamsiya and their 18-month-old daughter Ayesha
    • Mohd Mansad (26)
    • Dr Ijaz (34), his wife Rifaila (25) and their two-year-old child Hayan
    • Ijaz's brother Shihaz (27) and his wife Ajmala (22); and
    • Murshid Mohd (24), a resident of Haider Villa in Padanna and the brother of Mubaris.
    Kerala has a long tradition of renaissance movements among all communities, including Muslims. The Mujahid movement is a good example. Some of the IS recruits from Kerala were said to have been disillusioned with the movement's progressive agenda and sought a more ultra-conservative version of Islam, especially that advocated by the IS, which, among others, talks about Hijr or obligation to migrate to lands under the rule of Islam and to perform jihad for the establishment of a caliphate.

    Some of the organisations active in Kerala are:
    • Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen, which was established in 1950; and
    • Jamaat-e-Islami.
    And already there are calls for moderating their influence.

    M Rajagopalan, MLA from Trikkaripur, says: "I don't think Muslim organisations or schools are encouraging extremism but unfortunately some of the youths (who have since joined the IS) were associated with them. And if that is so, such organisations and schools need counselling."

    Clearly, radicalisation of youths in Kerala and elsewhere in India poses a clear and present danger. Easy availability of jihadi literature on social media and the internet is only compounding the government's woes. The arrest of 24-year-old Mehdi Masroor Biswas, an engineer from Bengaluru, is a case in point. Biswas was arrested in 2014 after it became known that he was operating an IS Twitter account called @ShamiWitness.



    http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-why-is-kerala-a-fertile-land-for-the-is-2292243
     
  3. vsdoc
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    vsdoc 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Islamism will always spread like wildfire and become increasingly belligerent in the absence of a counterweight.

    There is no pussyfooting about the fact that we have an uneasy truce with Sunni Islam in India.

    As long as the numbers are not on their side. And they see the very present threat of violent reprisal.

    The day one or both of the above are disturbed, you get a West Bengal and a Kerala.

    Apologies for being blunt here. I know no other way.

    Cheers, Doc
     
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  4. Dagger
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    Dagger FULL MEMBER

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    Pretty Sad that people feel the need to apologise for being blunt. Pity our representatives are illiterate. They have no clue how to tackle through words and propaganda. We need more people being blunt, and the issue put under bright sun light. Like all evil, it will also wither then.
     
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  5. vsdoc
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    vsdoc 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    I have no problem with many Muslims. As individuals they can be and are often great.

    I do have serious problems with Islam though. Islam can never be friends with anything outside its fold.

    Islam as we see today and down the ages can never be friends with those within its fold as well.

    Because it morphed into a religion as an afterthought of its later followers.

    What it started out as was an ideology of Arabic political subjugation.

    And in its purest form, that is what it still is.

    Cheers, Doc
     
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  6. Tejasmk3
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    NIA arrests another accused in ISIS Conspiracy Case

    The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday arrested Mohammad Irfan alias Abu Jaffer, an accused in the ISIS Conspiracy Case, from Hyderabad.

    “Accused, Mohammed Irfan was arrested for his role in the ISIS terror conspiracy module, exposed in the searches in Hyderabad City on 29th June, 2016. The investigation has revealed that Mohd Irfan along with the other accused took part in searching of hideouts, for their physical training. He had specifically searched for safe house in the outskirts of Hyderabad along with another accused Muzaffer Hussain Rizwan,” the NIA said in a statement.

    On the instructions of accused Mohammed Ibrahim Yazdani (since chargesheeted in the case), Mohammed Irfan collected the explosive precursors along with Mohammed Ilyas Yazdani, from the outskirts of Pochampally village of Nalgonda district.

    Irfan also went to Ananthapur town to collect explosive material in pursuance of the conspiracy.

    NIA probe has further revealed that Irfan also took an Oath of Allegiance in favour of Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed Caliph of the ISIS, in the presence of accused Mohammed Ibrahim Yazdani and Muzaffer Hussain Rizwan and he was given a Kuniya name, Abu Jafar by Mohammed Ibrahim Yazdani.

    Irfan was produced before the NIA Special Court, Hyderabad which remanded him to Judicial Custody for seven days.

    Owaisi was supporting these guys, and the media tried to make it look like they were innocent and the explosive materials were paint remover and chemicals for business.
     
  7. Tejasmk3
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    Tejasmk3 2nd Lieutant FULL MEMBER

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    Some stats of captured IS people have been released:








     
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