The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has put Kerala on high priority alert list after reports that an intelligence unit of Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organisation is still active in the state. The intelligence unit 'Emni' aims to use the existing IS sympathisers to attract their friends and relatives to expand their base. 

The state has earned a dubious distinction of maximum arrests of IS suspects in the country. Of a total of 75 IS suspects arrested in the country 21 were from Kerala while Telangana (16), Karnataka (9), Maharashtra (8), Madhya Pradesh (6), Uttarakhand (4). Tamil Nadu 4), Uttar Pradesh (3), Rajasthan (2) and West Bengal and one each from Jammu & Kashmir.

The terrorist outfit has changed their approach towards recruitment following fierce battles in Afghanistan and Syria. "From available information, it is understood that IS no longer want new recruits in Afghanistan and Syria but want them to remain back home and help execute their designs. Emni is assigned with this task. Emni even got a specific unit for Asian operations," a senior intelligence officer said.

"It is not easy for a person to go back to their home country once they land in Afghanistan or Syria. Intelligence reports are that the IS is following the strategy in all its hit list countries like the US, Britain, Germany and France," he said. 

National Investigation Agency is tracking the whereabouts of 19 missing Keralites suspected to have joined IS. The agency will take up the matter with the Afghan government to get a clear picture of those who joined the terrorist outfit from Kasargod and Palakkad. 

Meanwhile, a relative of one of missing person received some messages on social media that the reports of Malayalees being killed in the aerial strikes as fake. The messages said that the Malayalees who left for Afghanistan from Padanna in Kasargod are safe and were not killed in the Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) attack. 

The message was sent by Asfaq Majeed, who is one among the missing persons from Padanna. He had earlier confirmed the death of T K Hafeesudeen, in February, and Murshid Muhammed, in April, in drone attacks. 

An Afghan-based news agency had said that 13 Indians were killed in the MOAB attack in Achin district in Nangarhar province.