Hacking targets especially foreign citizens with machetes instructed to lone wolves by Islamic State

Hacking targets especially foreign citizens with machetes instructed to lone wolves by Islamic State

New Delhi : (IS) modules and 'lone wolves' in India have lately been instructed by their handlers to focus on hacking their targets, particularly foreign citizens, to death with big chopping knives or machetes.

"We have gathered that IS modules and lone wolves here are being told by their handlers not to risk gathering explosives, assembling IEDs or illegally buying automatic weapons for attacks. Instead, all they need to do is buy big chopping knives or machetes, which would neither raise suspicion nor involve a huge cost," a senior intelligence official told TOI.

It is believed that the motive of the terror group behind carrying out hacking attacks is to terrorise public even more. Also, it is quite possible that the ISIS fighters may record the hacking incidents and share them online to promote the terror outfit in India.

The first such case of IS-inspired plotting beheadings came to light in July when the West Bengal CID had busted a terror module led by Masiuddin alias Abu Musa and had seized machetes that the members had acquired to attack a family.

This trend was seen in Bangladesh, with the Dhaka attackers capturing the hacking of foreigners during the July 1 hostage situation in Holey Artisan cafe with their smartphones. These photos were later uploaded by IS.

"It has been noticed that IS modules are now largely operating as small, localised groups in different states – particularly Maharashtra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Karnataka. After the NIA busted a pan-India module in January leading to two dozen arrests across northern, southern and western states, IS handlers have been encouraging Indian contacts to work in smaller groups with minimal inter-connectivity. This is to escape surveillance and minimise arrests in case a module is detected," an intelligence officer said.

Last week, the National Investigation Agency arrested members of the Kerala-Tamil Nadu module last week who revealed that they too had planned to hack foreigners to death in the two southern states.

It is believed that the members of the Kerala-Tamil Nadu module had gathered for a meeting at Kanakamala hilltop in Kannur to discuss plans for acquiring machetes when an NIA team, based on a specific intelligence alert, closed in on them and arrested five people.

(Times of India)

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