Islamic State Module Worked With PFI And Claimed Zakir
Naik As InspirationZakir Naik (maapu/Wikimedia Commons)

According to National Investigation Agency (NIA) sources, Manseed alias Omar Al Hindi, the chief of Islamic State's (IS) module, which was busted by the agency on Sunday, had worked for 12 years as part of the intelligence wing of Popular Front India (PFI). His job there was to report on activities of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) functionaries in Kerala.

Manseed’s module was plotting a Nice-like attack on an all-religion gathering in Kochi. Interestingly, all six members of the module cited cleric Zakir Naik as a source of inspiration.

Manseed told his interrogators that more than a year ago, he started following online jihadi activity and connecting with jihad-minded people on social media. It was during that time that he encountered his Afghanistan-based handler Abu Aysha, who helped him put together a Facebook group called 'Ansar-ul-Khilaaf' including IS-leaning youth from Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Aysha would regularly send material against RSS and encourage the group to target Sangh workers. The module targeted three top RSS workers of Kerala, two Kerala high court judges with "progressive views on Sharia law", rationalists and activists of the Muslim community and Jews based in Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu.

The NIA sources said that Al Hindi’s module was being tracked by intelligence agencies for almost five months. In fact, the accused came on the radar while the NIA was tracking some youngsters discussing travelling to Turkey for onward journey to Iraq-Syria.

While many sections of India’s intelligentsia have made a subtle defence of PFI and Naik, their influence on jihadi groups is undisputed. With Hindu activists getting killed in Tamil Nadu by the same jihadi elements, time has come for Kerala administration to take strict actions to prevent the same in the state.

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