Police put on high alert as Islamic State activities escalate in Kerala
Kozhikode : For Kerala Police, the threat perception of the Islamic State (IS) has changed drastically over the past few months: From a mere global terror outfit which managed to attract a few sympathisers in 2016 to an active module gearing up for an extensive operation in the state in 2017. Considering the gravity of the situation, the state police machinery has been forced to change its operational procedures entirely in dealing with the IS. The state is now in high alert mode.
Ever since the first migration of Malayalees to join IS in Syria and Afghanistan was reported in June 2016, Kerala Police have been on the trail of suspected IS operatives in the state. With the latest audio clip of Rashid Abdullah, the leader of the Kasargod group which left for Syria to join IS, exhorting IS modules to unleash lone wolf attacks in Kerala, the police have become even more determined to go for an all out offensive drive.
State police chief Loknath Behera said the situation has become very alarming and the police have taken necessary operational measures to counter IS activities. “We are fully geared up. The entire force has been put on high alert,” he told Express. Though the state police have been tracking the activities of dedicated IS cells camouflaged in the form of other organisations, the real, functioning modules in the state were identified after a dedicated Kerala Police started to coordinate with Central agencies in analysing various communication channels of the suspects. “We have been interacting with Central agencies on various levels to ensure we don’t miss any leads in the investigation into IS activities in the state,” said a senior intelligence officer.
A few senior police officers in north Kerala have been specifically tasked with keeping track of the activities of a few suspects flagged for their association with certain organisations clandestinely supporting IS modules in Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. “In the past two years, a few suspects have flown to West Asia to raise funds using the cover of some organisations, said the intelligence officer. “The fund is used to strengthen IS activites in Kerala.
We have already identified a key person, known as Thasleem from Pappinissery holed up somewhere in the UAE or Saudi Arabia.” Thasleem funded the journey of two IS cadre from Kannur to Afghanistan. The officer said the police will pick up everyone in the module in due course of time as they have started to collect all relevant evidence against each member in the state.
Source : The New Indian Express