On the verge of collapse and being wiped out from the territory it held, ISIS is now being reduced to sporadic attacks by stray operatives and modules in the world

A call for ISIS – Islamic State of Iraq and Syria – modules in India to carry out lone wolf attacks on crowds during festivals like Kumbh mela or Thrissur Pooram has got Indian security agencies on their toes, with heightened surveillance measures put in place.

The threat, the first such in India, is seen as an attempt by ISIS to take their battle from Iraq and Syria to India and other parts of the world. In the area it once held, it is a beaten force, on the verge of collapse and facing rout in open war in Iraq and Syria. It is being reduced to a number of scattered, sporadic attacks by stray operatives and modules in parts of the world where it would survive as a serious nuisance to the governments and the people.

In the present instance, reports say, a 10 minute voice clip, accessed by NIA and Kerala police, has a person, believed to be Rashid Abdullah, asking its operatives to carry out lone wolf attacks in India. Abdullah was the leader of the Kasargod ISIS module and is believed to be holed up somewhere in Afghanistan. The message was sent through Telegram app and was intercepted by National Investigative Agency a few day ago, The New Indian Express reports. Security agencies have reportedly been analysing the message for past several days and the details have not been publicised so far. The said clip also mentions quotes from the Quran with an authentic Arabic pronunciation. Taking note of the clip, surveillance has been increased.

Rashid had sent 50 messages so far through ‘Telegram’ messenger, said media reports quoting police sources. The said ISIS affiliate, Abdullah, has already been charge-sheeted by NIA under IPC sections 120B r/w 125 and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) Sections 38,39 and 40. The case against him came to light after his father filed a police complaint last year, saying Rashid Abdullah, his wife and son were missing from Mumbai.

The male voice in the audio clip reportedly asks IS agents to carry out Las Vegas-type terror attacks. (In the Las Vegas attack on October 1 this year, among the deadliest shootings in America’s history, a gunman had opened fire on a crowd of 22,000 people gathered for a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, Nevada, in the United States. It left 58 people dead, and nearly 546 wounded.)

“You use your intellect. Poison them in food. Use trucks. Drive over them at Thirssur Pooram or at Maha Kumbh Mela. IS Mujahideen are doing it in several parts of the world. In Las Vegas, one of our supporters killed many people at a music concert. At least you should try to derail a train. Or use a knife,” the male voice was quoted as saying in a Zee News report.

The clip says that Muslims should go for ‘Hijrah’ (migrate) from ‘Darul Kufr’ (house of non-believers) to Darul Islam (house of believers). “If you are not able to do that despite your prayers and efforts, then you should financially support Daulatul Islam and Islamic State,” the male voice says.

The clip has surfaced at a time when Kerala Police have received inputs about at least 100 people from the state suspected to have joined the Islamic State. The Kerala Police has collected over 300 voice clips and messages from WhatsApp, Telegram messaging applications and other social media platforms.

Former special director of Cabinet Secretariat V Balachandran termed the incident as very serious. “They are going to take the battle to India from Europe and the Middle East,” he said, according to media reports.

Kerala DGP Loknath Behera said that the matter is being thoroughly investigated.

IS, ISIS, ISIL or Daesh

Islamic State: This is the English version of the terror group’s name. It also claims to be a caliphate, Arabic for “successor,” meaning successor to Prophet Muhammad. The last generally acknowledged Muslim caliphate was the Ottoman Empire, which ended in 1923. Many governments and media refuse to use this name because it gives the group legitimacy as a state and a representative of Islam.

ISIS: Short for “Islamic State in Iraq and Syria”, or “Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham” which is an old Arabic term for the area, it got this name after it invaded Syria in 2013. The second ‘IS’ in the name is on the brink of going.

ISIL: Means “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.” The Levant is a geographical term for the eastern shore of the Mediterranean — Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel and Jordan.

Daesh: Many prefer to use this term, for this is a term the terrorist group hates. It is an Arabic acronym for “al-Dawla al-Islamiya fi al-Iraq wa al-Sham.” It can sometimes be spelled DAIISH, Da’esh or Daech, a popular French version. The hacktivist group Anonymous and President Barack Obama have used the term since the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris.

With a little minimal tweaking, it could also be an insult in Arabic. It can mean anything from ‘to trample down and crush’ to ‘a bigot who imposes his view on others,'” Boston Globe writer Zeba Khan reported in October 2014. ISIS threatened “to cut the tongue of anyone who publicly used the acronym Daesh, instead of referring to the group by its full name,” the Associated Press wrote in September 2014.

Daesh may be the more appropriate name for the group now.