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NIA arrests six Islamic State suspects from Kerala for plotting attacks

Indian police have arrested six members of an Islamic State-inspired group suspected of plotting attacks on key figures and public places during the Hindu festival of Diwali

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New Delhi, October 3,2016:  (Reuters) – Indian police have arrested six members of an Islamic State-inspired group suspected of plotting attacks on key figures and public places during the Hindu festival of Diwali, the national counter-terrorism agency said on Monday.

Islamic State has struggled to win over many recruits in India, which is home to the world’s third-largest Muslim population.

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But over the past year or so, the National Investigation Agency has found small groups of people in the southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu who have either traveled to Syria to join the militant Sunni group or planned attacks inside India.

On Sunday, the NIA picked up six men while they were in a meeting in a hilltop shrine in Kerala and said they were gathering explosives and other material to mount attacks in southern India during Diwali later this month.

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“During the searches, incriminating material including electronic devices have been seized from their possession and search of their premises,” the agency said in a statement, calling them members of an “Islamic State-inspired terror module”.

The men were between the ages of 24 and 30, an official at the agency said. Reuters was not in a position to independently confirm the police claims.

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Earlier this year, investigators said 12 men, six women and three children went missing from Kerala and were later believed to have joined Islamic State.
(Reporting by Rupam Jain, Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?