New Delhi: When home minister Rajnath Singh informed Rajya Sabha on Wednesday that terror outfit Islamic State (ISIS) has not been able to make significant inroads in India, it was not without reason. The aggressive strategy adopted by the home ministry in dealing with the threat from ISIS has not only successfully thwarted all attempts by the terror group to radicalise Indian youth but has so far led to the arrest of 50 persons in the last eight months primarily by the NIA and some of the state police.
According to the latest data compiled by the home ministry regarding ISIS activities, NIA arrested 25 persons, six in Telangana, four in Maharashtra, four in Delhi, three in Tamil Nadu, while Karnataka and Rajasthan arrested one each.
“Most of these accused persons were either on their way to join the ISIS or trying to recruit and radicalise youth within the country. At least one Areef Majeed, a resident of Kalyan area in Mumbai, was arrested when he returned to India after having fought for the ISIS in Syria. “The threat from ISIS is extremely serious and they are trying hard to radicalise the Indian youth but so far our security agencies have very successfully managed to thwart such attempts,” a senior home ministry official said.
Sources in the security establishment pointed out that home minister Rajnath Singh had given specific instructions to take tough measures to deal with the ISIS threat. Singh, sources added, has directed both the cybercell of the IB and the NIA to “further enhance their cyber capabilities” as cyber space is said to be the biggest source being used by the ISIS for radicalising youth.
The home minister who has already chaired at least two high-level meetings in the last six months in this regard has also instructed top ministry officials to work in close co-ordination with the various state police to neutralise the ISIS threat. At one of the recent meetings, intelligence officials had expressed concern over the rapidly growing influence of ISIS in India’s neighbourhood, particularly in Maldives and Bangladesh.
“We are constantly screening the social media sites that are being used by ISIS to radicalise the youth. Some of these have been blocked also. In wake of continuous preventive measures taken by security agencies, the ISIS so far has not been able to establish a network for recruitment within the country. We are also working closely with the community leaders who have been critical of the ISIS ideology,” the official added.
Singh had also informed the Rajya Sabha that majority of the members of the Muslim community in the country did not subscribe to the ideology of the ISIS and believed in Indian values, culture and ethos. “But the government is making all possible attempts to ensure that any threat from ISIS is dealt with firmly,” he added....