An old image of young men from Tamil Nadu wearing ISIS t-shirts falsely linked to Kerala.

By: Umme Kulsum
May 9 2023

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An old image of young men from Tamil Nadu wearing ISIS t-shirts falsely linked to Kerala.


The Verdict False

The photo of men in ISIS t-shirts is from Tamil Nadu and was taken in 2014.

Claim ID 76a840b0


In the midst of the controversy around the movie ‘The Kerala Story,’ an old photo from Tamil Nadu of a group of young men wearing black t-shirts with ‘ISIS’ written on them is being widely shared on social media. Users are claiming that it is from Kerala and demonstrates how widely ISIS is supported and radicalized in the state. Shefali Vaidya, a right wing columnist, tweeted the image with a caption that read, "This is a picture from Kerala, local Muzlim youth wearing ISIS t-shirt and posing with the ISIS hand signal that there is only ONE God, THEIR God! And yet, people have the nerve to say that #LoveJihad is myth. #TheKeralaStory is REAL!"

Although Vaidya later clarified that the photo is not from Kerala, the post was reshared with the same narrative on Twitter several times.

In Fact

Through reverse image search, Logically Facts found an NDTV article from 2014 covering the incident. The article displayed the same image with the caption, "A group of men seen wearing T-shirts carrying the ISIS emblem in Ramanathapuram in Tamil Nadu." According to the article, 26 young people reportedly posed for a group shot in August 2014 wearing ISIS t-shirts in front of a mosque in Tamil Nadu's Ramanathapuram district. Two men named Abdul Rahman and Mohammed Rilvan were detained on suspicion of ordering the t-shirts, according to an India Today.

A report by The Hindu said, “Initially, it was believed that the Muslim youths wanted to only express their gratitude to the ISIS for releasing Indian nurses stranded in Iraq.” A follow-up report two days later by The Hindu added that a "deeper investigation" revealed that the main accused were “active supporters of ISIS and allegedly trying to brainwash Muslim youths for the cause that ISIS was fighting for.” Several other news organizations had reported the photo of a group of men wearing ISIS t-shirts in 2014.

The photograph has not been taken after the release of the ‘The Kerala Story’.

Logically Facts has also debunked other narratives that have emerged amid the recent controversy around the movie, including posts that claimed that the national flag was modified during protests against the movie.

The Verdict

The photograph in question is from 2014 and was captured in Tamil Nadu’s Ramanathapuram district. It has no links to Kerala, and is not a recent photograph. Therefore, we mark this claim false.

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