ISIS global recruiters set sights on India

ISISDisclosures of recently-arrested ISIS recruits have revealed that the jihadi group’s global headhunters including women from Argentina, Sri Lanka and Philippines are on the prowl for Indian youth who show any leanings to radical views on social media.

Counter-terror agencies are closely monitoring nearly 25 motivators, mostly from outside India, who are looking for potential recruits and then indoctrinating them on social media.

Sources said the three women who are on hiring spree for the Sunni terror group identify themselves as Karen from Philippines, Fatima from Argentina and Eje from Sri Lanka. Investigators say these are probably pseudomonades.

The details of their functioning have been told to investigators by ISIS inspired Indians in their interrogation to the National Investigation Agency that recently made several arrests busting a module of potential recruits.

There have been a total of 49 arrests linked to ISIS. While 25 were arrested by NIA, states like Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi, Tamil Nadu accounting for the other 24.

Sources say the suspects during interrogation explained the functioning of these motivators who through social media and whatspp look for “talent” and after spotting them carry out the indoctrination by sending links to videos of atrocities on Muslims, speeches of Islamic extremists and write-ups that to lure them to the violent ideology.

“There is a three tier whatapp group that they some of them were part of. Members of the first group are radicalised. Then in the second group they are inspired to carry out terror activities and those who are ready make to third group where planning and logistics are discussed,” said an officer.

Investigators believe foreign motivators looking for Indian recruits appear to be a new trend. Most of the ISIS inspired youth earlier were in touch with former Shafi Aramar brothers, Shafi Armar, the brother of Maulana Abdul Qadir Sultan Armar, a former IM member who joined ISIS and was identified as a handler for the group who was indoctrinating young Indians and convincing them to be part of ISIS before he was reportedly killed in the battlefields of Syria.

The NIA busted a terror module earlier this year called ‘Janood-ul-Khalifa-e-Hind’ or the Army of Caliph in India carrying out countrywide arrests.

Investigations have also revealed the group was making efforts to establish a channel of procurement of explosives and weapons, identify locations to organize terror training camps and motivate new recruits to target police officers, foreigners in India and to carry out terrorist activities in various parts of India. NIA claimed that those arrested were found to be in communication with some active members through chatting applications in order to motivate them to join ISIS.

Indian agencies have been tracking several youth lured by ISIS but arrests have only been when someone crosses a threshold. With the threat of ISIS lurking the government had put in place a counter radicalisation strategy focussing on bringing the youth lured by Islamic State back to the mainstream.

Earlier, four youth from Kalyan in Mumbai had fled India to join the Islamic State in Syria. One of the four was killed while fighting for the group while another one had returned to India after being disillusioned. (India Today)

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