Counter Terrorism Perspectives: CTP

Abdul Mateen Taha: Islamic State Fugitive Figurehead in India

April 26, 2024

On October 23, 2022, a suicide car bomb exploded outside the Kottai Eswaran Hindu Temple of Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu State, India. The perpetrator, Jameesha Mubeen, died in the explosion. A month later, on November 19, 2022, a homemade improvised explosive device (IED) detonated in an auto-rickshaw in the city of Mangaluru in Karnataka State. The driver, Mohammed Shariq, was burned in the attempt. After the explosion, Shariq was arrested, and investigations revealed that he plotted the violent act under the guise of a Hindu identity to avert any investigation (Udayavani, November 20, 2022).



The Islamic Resistance Council (IRC), a then-unknown Islamist group, claimed responsibility for Shariq’s Mangaluru blast. In a statement, the IRC disclosed that the actual target of their operation was the Hindu Kadri Manjunatha Temple, indicating that the bomb detonated prematurely and the mission was not successful. While threatening future attacks, the IRC’s communiqué decried the rising influence of “saffron extremists,” which is a reference to right-wing Hindu activists in Karnataka. In this manner, the group highlighted the religious dimension of the violence (New Karnataka, November 25, 2022).

Several months after both Mubeen’s and Shariq’s bombing incidents, Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) also claimed responsibility for the two men’s attacks in the March 2023 issue of its flagship English- language magazine, Voice of Khorasan. [1] In a four-page article, Abu Yasir al-Hindi, which may be a nom de guerre for an Indian-origin IS operative, noted that the attacks in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka states were revenge attacks to honor Islam and to terrorize unbelievers. He also threatened additional revenge strikes intended to establish sharia in India.

Investigations into the two explosions also found that Shariq and Mubeen both had met before and were part of a growing jihadist network called Islamic State (IS) in al-Hind. This group’s leader was Abdul Mateen Taha. Abdul Mateen’s network has been active in southern states of India, with headquarters in the city of Bengaluru (Times of India, December 5, 2020;DaijiWorld, November 22, 2022).

For Complete Article, See, Animesh Roul, "Abdul Mateen Taha: Islamic State Fugitive Figurehead in India", Militant Leadership Monitor (Subscription),  Volume 15 (03), MARCH  2024.