Most of the 130-odd people arrested by security agencies in India for suspected ISIS links were inspired by the speeches of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik, a top official of the National Investigation Agency Alok Mittal told a conference of anti-terror teams on Monday.
Mittal said security agencies had arrested 127 people from different parts of the country in recent years due to ISIS links. The largest number of people were arrested from Tamil Nadu, 33, Uttar Pradesh, 19 and Kerala, 17, Telangana 14, Maharashtra 12, Karnataka 8 and Delhi 7. The other states from where ISIS suspects have been arrested are Uttarakhand, Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh.
A common factor in the radicalisation of majority of these suspects was Zakir Naik, Mittal said.
The controversial preacher had come to the notice of security agencies in India after his name cropped in connection with a ghastly terror attack at Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka in July 2016.
The Mumbai-born founder of the controversial ‘Peace TV’ has been living in Malaysia since 2017. He has run into some trouble in Malaysia too which banned him from delivering public talks. But the Malaysian government has indicated that it was reluctant to deport him to India but was open him to send the preacher to any other country that was willing to take him.
In his speech at the conference of counter-terror officials, NIA director YC Modi also outlined the emerging terror challenges before the country. He also noted that the Bangladesh-based terror outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) has expanded its footprints in Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
JMB started activities in West Bengal in 2008, when two of its senior leaders crossed over to West Bengal to evade arrest and persecution in Bangladesh. Both were accused in the serial blast in Bangladesh that JMB carried out in 2005, the very year the outfit was founded. The two, making a base in West Bengal, started working quietly on recruitment and training. In recent years, however, it has been expanding its presence using Bangladeshi immigrants who have settled in different parts of the country.
Oct 14, 2019 11:06 IST