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NIA appeals to public to report suspected IS acts


NEW DELHI: Concerned by ‘increased social media activity by ISIS (also known as IS) sympathisers’ and in view of the changing scenario in Afghanistan, the National Investigation Agency has made an appeal to the public to report any such suspicious activity.

Issuing a warning that the Islamic State is trying to ‘spread its tentacles in India through continuous propaganda online,’ the anti-terror agency has urged people to contact NIA at 011-24368800, if they notice any such activity on the internet.

A senior NIA official told this newspaper that ISIS-related suspicious online content has increased over the past few days and this is what has made the NIA issue a public appeal. The official said IS modules follow a pattern of targeting ‘gullible’ youth through social media platforms. “They are first targeted on open platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and if the IS modules notice encouraging responses,  people are approached through private messages.”

Asked if the agency has got to know of any social media activity by 25 ISIS suspects from India who are believed to be in Afghanistan, the official responded in negative. The agency has, so far, investigated 37 cases of terror attacks, conspiracy and funding inspired by the IS ideology. The most recent case was probed in June and according to NIA, 168 persons have been arrested in such cases and 27 of the accused individuals have been convicted in IS-related cases.

A top security official said IS is emerging as a ‘bigger threat’ since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. “Although security agencies are monitoring online content, there is a concern of long dead terror cells getting reactivated,” he said. A home ministry official said threats of IS-related outfits strengthening its hold in India have increased.