3:21 pm - Saturday March 19, 2310

In Kerala,RSS functionaries ,HC judges were on IS hit-list

NEW DELHI: In a stunning revelation, members of an Islamic State (IS) module arrested in Kerala two days ago have told their interrogators that they were planning to kill senior RSS functionaries and high court judges in the state for which they had even prepared a list of targets. According to sources, this is the first such admission by IS operatives arrested in the country.

Local police and intelligence agencies have beefed up security of the persons whose names were found on the hitlist of the IS module led by Majeed alias Omar Al Hindi, who recently came back from Qatar where he was in touch with some senior leaders of the so-called caliphate.

The IS members, sources said, had prepared a list of at least eight RSS office-bearers and Kerala HC judges. The NIA had arrested six members of the module from Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Apart from Omar Al Hindi, the others are Abu Basheer alias Rashid from Coimbatore, Swalih Mohammed T alias Yousuf from Thrissur, Safwan P from Mallapuram, Jasim N K and Ramshad Nageelan Kandiyil alias Aaamu from Kozhikode. Meanwhile, the agency detained another IS suspect who is not associated with the module but is said to be an important IS operative.

The officials, however, clarified that none of these IS operatives had any connection with the 21 missing persons from Kerala who joined the IS in Afghanistan earlier this year.

When asked about the motive to target RSS leaders in Kerala and HC judges, a source said, “We are still interrogating them but it appears that they wanted to show the presence of IS in south India by targeting political leaders and judges as such attacks would have increased their visibility.”

Omar Al Hindi named the new outfit Ansar-ul Khilafah Kerala after owing allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi. The NIA suspects that more members of the module are absconding while some facilitators and financiers are based abroad.

Omar Al Hindi was associated with Kerala-based organisation Popular Front of India, which has been earlier chargesheeted by the NIA in the professor T J Joseph palm chopping case. Intel agencies have arrested 60 IS Indian operatives till now from different states while many youths are under surveillance for promoting its ideolody.

Input : TOI

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