Despite the arrest of key operatives of the Kerala module of the Islamic State (IS), its propaganda machinery is still active on social media.
There is no dearth of jihadi content in the web world, giving a clear indication that the organisation’s sleeper cells are still active.
The module’s Malayalam blog, Muhajirun, surfaced again and is getting updated every two hours. Intelligence agencies believe that Keralites working in the Middle East are maintaining the blog. The latest blog contains description of “true jihad and growing atrocities perpetrated on Muslim community” to drum up support.
The NIA had arrested six people from north Kerala and four others from different parts of Tamil Nadu last week.
“We have information that some Keralites working in the Gulf countries are updating the blog. We will seek the help of those countries to deport them. Since the blog is in Malayalam, it is difficult for these countries to decipher it,” said a senior police officer, citing last year’s deportation from UAE of five youth sympathetic to the IS.
Intelligence agencies are also collecting details of Malayalee youth missing from the Middle East. Fearing harassment, many families back home refuse to approach the police in case of disappearance.
In both cases — disappearance of 21 people and the latest IS module bust — the key operatives were reportedly indoctrinated while they were working abroad.
Manseed, leader of the busted module, was working in Qatar and returned to Kerala only ten days ago with his Filipino wife who converted from Christianity.
A close study of some of the cases indicates that most of the educated Kerala youth were weaned to terror networks once they went out for studies or work. Social media also played an important role in indoctrinating them. Intelligence agencies now fear that some members of the now defunct Indian Mujahideen might have joined the IS module. Intelligence officials said more arrests are likely in the coming days.