Tamil Nadu top target in ISI web of intrigue

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Investigators handling the Thameem Ansari spy case in New Delhi and in Chennai are burning midnight oil assessing information the Tamil Nadu onion dealer has so far passed on to his ISI handlers at the Pakistan high commission in Colombo.

More importantly, they are checking if the Ansari operation has any links with the spurt in violence by some Muslim outfits in Tamil Nadu in recent months during public agitations for one reason or the other, a top source said.

He said questioning Ansari revealed that his ISI handlers had first asked him to collect videos and papers relating to deployment of various formations of the Indian army. They later graduated him to visiting defence installations for pictures and thereafter got him to shoot visuals of landing points (ports) on the TN coastline, in addition to Andaman and Nicobar islands.

“Then they started indoctrinating him saying that the plight of the Muslims in India was pretty and he must get ready for doing something to help correct the situation,” the source said, adding, “They are using Sri Lanka as a convenient platform to monitor the eastern seaboard of India, through agents recruited in Tamil Nadu.”

He said the laptop seized from Ansari had visuals of military establishments and also Jihadi-related articles in Urdu that included pictures of a white man being beheaded by Islamic militants.

“We are worried that ISI could be eyeing TN as a soft target. Mumbai has become a difficult terrain after the Azad Maidan crackdown following the Assam violence,” an officer explained.

Ansari’s investigators have alleged that his ISI handlers had directed him to get video shots of INS Chakra.

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