India court imprisons ISIS-inspired man part of group with plans to attack Kerala, TN

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A counter terrorism court in India sentenced an ISIS-inspired man from Kerala to prison for seven years on Tuesday.

A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court made the ruling in the city of Cochin. It followed an investigation that revealed that Mohammad Polakanni was part of a group that sought to carry out attacks in the South Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

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The attacks would have reportedly targeted individuals including judges, police officers and politicians, in addition to tourist spots where Jewish people are known to visit.

The investigation established that Polakanni was inspired by ISIS ideologies while abroad and “actively conspired over social media, to conduct terrorist attacks in South India,” a statement from the NIA said.

He reportedly planned to join ISIS in Syria. To make this happen, the NIA said that the accused traveled from Saudi Arabia to Georgia in early 2019 with plans to cross through the Georgia-Turkey border and into Syria.

He was arrested on September 18, 2020, upon arrival in New Delhi from Georgia, the NIA statement said.

India has tightened its anti-terrorism measures after the November 26 attacks in Mumbai left 175 people dead. They were carried out by 10 members of the Pakistani Lashkar-e-Taiba group over four days.

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