Terror plot India

Centre warns of IS module targeting vital installations

C. Sylendra Babu. File

C. Sylendra Babu. File | Photo Credit: K.V. SRINIVASAN

The Union Government has alerted all States to step up vigil at vulnerable locations and conduct combing operations on possible hideouts of terror suspects. The alert follows specific inputs that IS handlers abroad had developed applications to recruit and train youths to execute a terror plot targeting vital installations, religious leaders, places of high footfalls, etc.

Central and State intelligence agencies are conducting joint raids at dozens of locations in different States and detaining youth who were in touch with IS operatives on social media or mobile phone applications. Investigators claimed to have information that besides a systematic indoctrination of the ‘ jihadi’ ideology, the handlers were exposing the recruits to handling of explosives, weapons, tactical warfare, etc.

When asked for a comment, Tamil Nadu Director General of Police (DGP) C. Sylendra Babu said State intelligence agencies were keeping a close watch on suspicious accounts in social media platforms. After ascertaining that some youths were in touch with banned organisations, police conducted raids and apprehended them.

As part of this input, raids were conducted in Tamil Nadu on Saturday resulting in the arrest of two youths allegedly in touch with foreign agents using an Internet-enabled messaging platform.

In the arrest of Mir Idayat Ali (21) of Ambur in Tirupattur district, police claimed he was recruited by IS and was in touch with the handlers. Invoking provisions under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against Mr. Ali, the police report claimed the suspect was part of a conspiracy to cause terror attacks.

The Special Sub-Inspector who lodged a complaint said Mr. Ali was in possession of two mobile phones, a laptop, and two knives. However, police did not confirm whether there was any specific content or information in the electronic devices that could corroborate the allegations.

The sources said some terrorist organisations planned to disrupt the Independence Day celebrations. While security agencies were averting or intercepting consignments of arms/ammunition being supplied across the border to terror operatives using drones, it was possible that some could have reached them.

State police were told to enhance security arrangements at airports, sea ports, major railway stations, bus terminals, important places of worship, and buildings of large public congregations like malls, etc., Mr. Babu said. 

According to him, in almost all cases, the parents were not aware their children were involved in such anti-social activities. “….it is a huge surprise even for their best friends. We have deradicalised some youths and helped them turn a new leaf in life by roping in family members, teachers, friends and professional counsellors,” Mr. Babu said.

Elaborate security arrangements were in place at sensitive establishments ahead of the Independence Day celebrations.

“We are keeping a close watch on the activities of some suspects across the State. The three youths arrested in Omalur, Erode and Ambur, who seemed to be owing allegiance to different ideologies, will have to face the law if the offences are made out. But we will help them to reform; some of the deradicalised youth are volunteering to assist in this process,” the DGP said.

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Printable version | Sep 7, 2022 1:02:03 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/centre-warns-of-is-module-targeting-vital-installations/article65712448.ece