Tamil Nadu is in a state of high alert after police received intelligence inputs about a 6-member Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) terrorist group entering the state. The threat is believed to be specifically on Coimbatore city.
The alert was sent last night around 11.30 PM to all city police commissioners and SPs in the state. The terror cell, including one Pakistani and five Sri Lankan Tamil Muslims, have reportedly disguised themselves as Hindus to carry out attacks at targets like vital security installations, Hindu worship centres, tourist locations and foreign embassies.
Police conducted a massive search operation on Thursday night, including raids at police stations, worship centres, lodges and public places.
Bharat’s intelligence agencies had also repeatedly alerted Sri Lankan authorities in the two weeks preceding the 21 April serial suicide bombings in Colombo on day of Easter festival that claimed 259 lives. That terror attack was carried out by Sri Lanka-based fundamentalist Islamic organization National Thowheeth Jamaat, which had links to Islamic State (IS).
Many in Bharat are still not aware that Tamil Nadu is a hotbed of Islamism, with terrorist-turned-politician like MH Jawahirullah openly allying with mainstream Dravidian parties. One of the first IS recruits from Bharat, Haja Fakkaruddin, was from Tamil Nadu.
The fundamentalist organization ‘Tamil Nadu Thowheed Jamaath’ (TNTJ), which has a Sri Lankan counterpart ‘Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamaath’, is also regularly flexing its muscle in the state. TNTJ is inspired by the Wahhabi and Tablighi schools of Islam, and its Founder P. Jainulabudeen was deemed so radical by the Sri Lankan Government that they once denied him a visa to attend an Islamic conference.
Links between Sri Lanka’s NTJ and jihadis in Tamil Nadu & Kerala
In 2018 NIA had busted an IS module in Coimbatore. During investigation of seized hard disks, they came across NTJ leader Maulvi Zahran Hashim’s videos exhorting his followers to attack targets in Sri Lanka and elsewhere. This formed the basis of the intelligence input provided to Sri Lana in April.
Zahran Hashim had visited Bharat last year, during which time he attempted to influence youths in Tamil Nadu and Kerala to join him in establishing Islamic rule in a combined region of Sri Lanka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
In June this year, another 9-member IS module was busted in Coimbatore – this one was planning to target temples and churches for Sri Lanka-styled bombings. However, it is ironical that evangelical Tamil Christian bishops like Ezra Sargunam still ally with Islamists to spew venom at Hindus.
Coimbatore’s brush with radical Islam is nothing new – on 14 February 1998, 12 serial bomb blasts ripped through the city killing 58 as part of a larger conspiracy to target BJP leader L.K.Advani.
After the fall of LTTE and due to then UPA government’s lackadaisical attitude towards national security, Pakistan’s notorious spy agency ISI has also successfully managed to use Sri Lanka as a base for spying and fanning Islamic terror in southern Bharat.
(Featured Image: Representative only)
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