Kasaragod: Conforming the fact that Kerala is fast turning into a hub for Islamic extremism, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested one person in connection to operating a module of the dreaded Islamic State (IS).
The arrested IS operative, Riyas Aboobacker, who is a resident of Palakkad, will be produced in a court in Kochi tomorrow.
The NIA conducted raids in the Northern districts of the state following reports that the mastermind of Sri Lankan bombings, Zahran Hashmi, had followers in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
The NIA today interrogated three persons, including Riyas Aboobacker, about their relation to the Sri Lankan bomber and his activities. The two others are Aboobacker Siddique and Ahmed Arafat from Kasaragod and were asked to reach Kochi today for questioning. They are believed to have recruited youths to the Islamic State.
The National Investigative Agency is on high alert to root out any sleeper cells of the Islamic State operating in South India.
Kerala is fast turning out to be a hotbed of Islamic terrorism with many youths turning to the radical ideologies imported from the Middle East. People have been going to the gulf in search of jobs for many decades now. The long period of contact with the oil rich region have brought into Kerala the extremist views of Islam together with the prosperity the region offered.
After the threat of Islamic State emerged in Iraq and Syria, the security forces have identified close to 50 persons from Kerala who have left their homes to join the terrorist outfit.
It is of growing concern that when Islamic State is almost wiped out in its place of origin , it is finding new ground here in the Southern part of India. For years, security agencies have been warning of the radicalization of Muslim youths. However, these concerns were deliberately suppressed by the Communist and Congress fronts and the media.
The media made it a point to vilify all those who spoke about the extreme Islamic threat and accused them of polarization and divisive politics. Kerala thus became a fertile ground for radicalization and recruitment to these terrorist organizations.