After the collapse of ISIS's territorial holdings in Iraq and Syria, thousands of fighters from the Islamic State are now on the loose and could attack India and Sri Lanka at any time, the intelligence agencies have reportedly warned.
The recent development comes days after the awful Easter bombings in Sri Lanka that claimed 258 lives, including 11 Indians and injured nearly 500. The top-level police officers in Kerala received three letters sent by the intelligence department of the state. NDTV accesses one such letter which claims that the jihadist organisation is eyeing the Indian Ocean Region after suffering huge losses in Iraq and Syria.
After the United States' counter-terrorism measures to wipe out the last remnant of the Islamist extremist organisation's self-declared caliphate, the terror outfit is now urging their operatives to take up violent forms of jihad while staying back in their respective countries.
Another letter claim that terrorist modules and sleeper cells in the state of Kerala may soon attack a shopping mall in Cochin. The letter went on to cite increased Islamic State-related cyber-activity in the country as signs of terror attacks to come.
The intelligence letter also revealed that some of the other states facing threats from the ISIS are Tamil Nadu, Andhra, and Kashmir. Earlier, ISIS operatives from Kerala who live in Syria and Iraq had used Telegram to communicate with people in India. But now, due to the fear of data leak, they are now apparently using secures apps like SilentText and ChatSecure for communication.
Earlier, it has been reported that Kerala is one of the few states in India where ISIS has widened its clandestine clutches. Over 100 people from Kerala had gone to Iraq and Syria, and now, top ISIS chiefs have apparently asked them to return to their homeland to carry out terrorist activities. As the warning letter has talked about attacking a shopping mall, many people believe that the target could be MA Yousafali's Lulu Hypermarket located in Edapally, Cochin.
The intelligence report also revealed that 30 people in Kerala have been under the scanner since Sri Lanka attacks. A senior police officer revealed that more than 3,000 people who have been following extreme religious thoughts were deradicalised in the past couple of years. He also added that most of these potential extremists were from the northern regions of Kerala.
Meanwhile, two suspected ISIS terrorists were killed by the Punjab Police's counter-terrorism department in Pakistan's Punjab province on Thursday (June 20). The terrorists, identified as Muhammad Rizwan and Imran Saqi, were allegedly involved in the abductions of former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani's son and a US national.