VENU G S, KOLLAM
The United Nations Organisation (UNO) had recently warned in its report about the threat posed by ISIS and Al Qaeda terrorist groups and their plans to carry out terrorist activities in India. However, it is doubtful whether the report got the seriousness it deserved. The report had pointed out at strong presence of these terrorist groups in Kerala and Karnataka. The arrest of nine suspected Al Qaeda operatives in Kerala and West Bengal by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is indicative of the accuracy of the UN report. A tip-off provided by central intelligence agencies and the help provided by the state police forces helped the NIA carry out raids at Ernakulam in Kerala and Murshidabad in West Bengal and arrest the nine men. The NIA’s timely action that foiled an attempt by an internationally banned terror group Al Qaeda to set up a base in India is highly commendable. It shows its expertise in investigation and alertness in national security. It is a fact that many terrorists from Bangladesh are planning their operations in different parts of India by disguising themselves as Bengalis. The arrest of Al Qaeda operatives in Kerala is indicative of infiltration of many such terrorists into migrant labourers. Though there are only a few of them, their presence among migrant labourers adversely affects the labourers, who eke out a living by toiling relentlessly. The group was planning to launch terror attacks on vital installations in the country. It has come to light that the arrested men were radicalised by Pakistan-based Al Qaeda terrorists on social media platforms. The arrest of these terrorists sheds light on the fact that Al Qaeda terrorist group, that has its operation base in Afghanistan and Pakistan, is attempting to widen its secret operation in India as well. The central and state governments must remain vigilant against terrorist groups that pose threat to our nation.