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Islamic State and al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent posing new threat: MHA

With Islamic State and al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) posing “new challenges” to the security environment, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has sounded an alert about activities of radicalised people returning from conflict areas such as IS-dominated Syria.

The MHA, in a note to the Parliamentary Committee on Estimates, which is part of a report tabled in Parliament, has also flagged possible threats from lone-wolf attacks inspired by radicalised outfits.

In the report titled ‘Central Armed Police Forces and Internal Security Challenges — Evaluation and Response Mechanism’, the MHA voiced concerns about terrorists using secure Internet pathways to reach out to youths.

“Radicalisation of youth by terror outfits through the misuse of Internet and social media, has emerged as a big challenge in recent times. The problem is further accentuated by the fact that the terror groups have started using secure social media platforms and proxy servers etc., to avoid detection by intelligence and law enforcement agencies,” the note said.

The security establishment is also worried about the activities of radicalised people returned from conflict-ridden areas. While acknowledging it as a challenge, the MHA note also said lone-wolf attacks, which were witnessed abroad, cannot be ruled out.

“The IS and al-Qaeda in Indian Sub Continent have started posing new challenges to the existing security environment,” the report said quoting the MHA. It said the IS is using various platforms to propagate its ideology and to attract recruits from across the world and the security agencies are keeping a close watch on those “persons/preachers” misguiding the youth.

Pak-based terror

The MHA note, part of which appears in the section ‘Global Challenges for Internal Security’, also refers to the fight against terrorism emanating from Pakistan.

It talked about receiving indications on revival of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which is not as active as before. The JeM has renewed efforts to “cause harm to India,” the note to the panel headed by veteran BJP MP Murli Manohar Joshi said.

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