10:45 GMT17 February 2020
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    At least 100 people are reported to have joined Daesh* from the Indian state of Kerala in the last few years. A police officer said around 3,000 individuals, most of them from Kerala, are being monitored after deradicalisation at 21 counselling centres.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): India and Sri Lanka could be confronted by threats from the Daesh terror group in the near future, according to the inter-police communication taking place in India’s southern Kerala state.

    This alarming news is based on intelligence reports that reveal the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) as an emerging Daesh area of attention following severe setbacks in Syria and Iraq.

    A document accessed by Indian television news channel NDTV quotes police officers as saying that  Daesh is “urging (its) operatives to take up violent forms of jihad while staying back in their respective countries".

    Intelligence reports reveal that in India, the states most likely to face threats from the Daesh are Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh in southern India, and Jammu and Kashmir in north India.

    In Kerala, for instance, the city of Kochi has been identified by police as the likeliest place to face the brunt of terrorist strikes. The police said key installations, including a prominent shopping mall, are potential targets for an attack by the Daesh.

    They have also cautioned that the increased cyber activity by Daesh in India has to be viewed as a sign of terror attacks to come.

    The report also evoked reactions from netizens, some of them claiming that no matter what the Muslim community would stand by India.


    ​In the past, Daesh operatives had used Telegram Messenger as their preferred mode of communication, but now according to the intelligence collected, they are using more secure apps like ChatSecure, Signal and SilentText due to fears of information leaks.

    Internal security cells are being strengthened and state police have put at least twelve online honey traps into place to identify radicalised police personnel.

    As many as 30 people with links to various groups have come under scrutiny. The Kerala coastal area has been on alert since the end of May to prevent the entry of the Daesh members from neighbouring Sri Lanka.

    Earlier this month, India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) carried out raids in the states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu as part of their crackdown on suspect Daesh modules reportedly having connections to similar modules in Sri Lanka. In Tamil Nadu alone, the NIA raided seven locations in the city of Coimbatore eventually leading to the arrest of a 10-member module. One of those arrested was Mohammed Azharudheen, 32, the alleged head of a suspected Daesh branch in Tamil Nadu, who they said was in contact with Zahran Hashim, the suspected ringleader in the Easter Sunday (April 21) bombings that targeted Sri Lankan churches and hotels, leaving 253 people dead and over 500 injured.

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS/Islamic State) is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries


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