Kerala has emerged as the nursery of terrorism over the years with many radical organizations having built strong cadre base and capacity to carry out terror activities with external support. Jihadi groups have created overt and covert organizations and have significant influence in media, social and intellectual circles. Organisations like Popular Front of India (PFI) have played a major role in radicalizing Muslim youths and creating social and communal unrest in the state. Almost all the youths accused of carrying out ‘Love Jihad’ were associated PFI or its political wing SDPI. PFI’s cadres have been found to be involved in almost all terrorist activities and communal disturbances in Kerala. These Islamic organizations have been working for converting Kerala into an Islamic country. Popular Front activists were involved in the chopping of a Christian professor's hands in the state.
Manseed alias Omar al-Hindi, the chief of Islamic State’s module busted by the NIA had worked for 12 years as part of the intelligence wing of PFI, reporting on activities of RSS leaders. According to a Times of India report, he along with his accomplices was plotting Nice-like attacks on community events, particularly an all-religious function at Kochi, and had even transferred Rs 38,000 from abroad through Western Union to purchase a second-hand heavy vehicle to ram it into the crowd.
Along with Manseed, NIA had arrested six more people from the state. They had also drawn up a hit-list that included two high court judges, a well-known rationalist and RSS leaders of Kerala besides Jewish visitors to Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu. The seven people, aged between 24 and 35, were plotting to kill Justice KT Sankaran, Justice Pasha and EA Jabbar. They had planned to attack RSS-BJP leaders.
All terrorists were inspired by Dr Zakir Naik, the controversial televangelist. Naik’s videos with Malayalam voiceover are hugely popular in Kerala among youth.
It is worth noting that the IS activists were arrested from the CPI(M) stronghold. There has been a complaint that the two political fronts were responsible for growth of radicalism in the state. Madrasas and internet are the two major sources of radicalization. "Of late, there are serious attempts to internalise the issues faced by Muslims across the world into Kerala’s Muslim society citing Muslims world-over are part of the same umma (society)," said Hameed Chennamangaloor, a critic and commentator. "Madrassas in Kerala still teach there is only one true religion in the world — Islam and the remaining religions are false. They say Quran is the only original text and rest is not," he added.
According to Chennamangaloor, both the fronts have allowed growth of radicalism in the state. “The state Intelligence agencies knew all along about the activities of religious fundamentalists but they wouldn’t take action since Muslims are a big vote bank. Irking them is detrimental to their vote-bank politics,” said Chennamangaloor.