India is confident that the Islamic State militants will not be able to make a “big impact” in the country and the government is trying its best to prevent radicalisation among the youth, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has said.
“We are trying every way possible to prevent radicalisation in India. IS has had no significant impact in India, however other countries have been affected. IS will not be able to able to make a big impact in India,” Singh told PTI here in an interview while commenting on reports that a number of youths have joined the dreaded terror outfit.
IS militants control large areas of Iraq and Syria since June but have been targeted by air strikes by the US-led coalition since August.
Singh also did not rule out the possibility of al-Qaeda setting up a branch in the country to wage jihad in the Indian sub-continent.
“Al-Qaeda’s activities have been ongoing but any information regarding an Asia-specific organisation that they have built is not yet available. We, however, do not rule out any possibility,” Singh, who was here for talks with the Israeli leadership on ways to boost Indo-Israeli cooperation in areas like counter-terrorism and cyber-security, said.
Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in September had announced that the global Islamist extremist movement has launched a new off-shoot in the Indian sub-continent.
Replying to a question on the biggest security threat for India — home grown outfits like CPI (Maoist), Indian Mujahideen or foreign terrorist groups like al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba — Singh said, “We do not differentiate between dangers as big and small. Dangers are dangers.
“All our security agencies, our intelligence agencies, keep a tab on emerging dangers and also take necessary measures to address such dangers,” he said.
Singh also dismissed media reports that terrorists were planning to attack Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“We have no such information in this regard. But with terrorists nothing can be predicted as to what and when are they going to do something.
However, we have no information about any such plan to attack our Prime Minister,” he said.
Recently terror outfit, Indian Mujahideen’s (IM) expert bomb-maker, Waqas alias Javed, a resident of Punjab province in Pakistan was arrested along with three others suspected members of IM from Jaipur and Jodhpur in Rajasthan by the Special Cell of Delhi police.
According to reports, the terror module had plans to carry out terror attacks during the election rally of Modi.
Asked whether India was concerned about security scenario after the withdrawal of US-led coalition forces from war-torn Afghanistan later this year, Singh said: “We have made adequate preparations to meet with the challenges and emerging situation after the withdrawal of NATO forces from Afghanistan. We are not very terrified about that”.