New Delhi: Investigations so far into the bomb attacks on churches and hotels on Easter in Colombo suggest this was the handiwork of an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS aka IS) module. The style and scale of the blasts point to Islamic State-type attacks that are a major threat across the globe. But India, especially its premier intelligence agency NIA, has had a good track record in nipping the problem in the bud.
Constant vigil by NIA
The first such case, where there was clear evidence of the success of Indian intelligence and law-enforcement agencies, surfaced in 2016. The NIA busted a terror module planning a series of bombings across the country before they could execute their plans.
In July 2016, the NIA arrested five ISI-linked terrorists in Hyderabad. Within half a year then, 54 ISIS recruits were dumped in custody by the National Investigation Agency. The ‘rookies’ were in touch with a former Indian Mujahideen member who then joined the ISIS to plot terror strikes and communal clashes.
Last year in December, NIA busted another major ISIS-inspired terror module that was preparing to launch a string of terror attacks targeting politicians, key locations and crowded places.
Here are some very recent (2019) success stories of the NIA:
- January: Thane man with ‘link’ to alleged ISIS-inspired group held in Maharashtra
- 9 people arrested in Maharashtra for alleged links to ISIS
- NIA arrests weapons supplier in Uttar Pradesh-Delhi pro-ISIS module case
Indian intelligence agencies are tracking several plots. The Islamic State influence is spreading in this country too, with radicalism spreading through social media. They tap the youth on Facebook and WhatsApp and radicalise them through online sermons.
The IS impact was seen first in 2014 when some Mumbai youth left the nation for Iraq and Syria to battle for the Islamic State. The terror group has left an impact among Muslims in India, given that numerous technically knowledgeable and cellphone-owning youth are uncovered here and there, say agencies.
Indian agencies, including Hyderabad Police which has its digital wing glued to social media groups created and managed by Islamic State head-hunters, started early by tracking online activities and online practices aimed at radicalising Muslims in India.
In the last two days, the NIA and intelligence agencies carried out raids to pick up Islamic State-influenced operatives. While one, identified as Mohammed Gufran from Uttar Pradesh, was arrested and four suspects were detained in Hyderabad and Maharashtra.