Hyderabad: In a fresh revelation, anti-terror intelligence agencies have found instances of medicines from India landing up with the ISIS.
The agencies strongly suspect that medicines supplied to the Gulf countries were ending up in Syria and Iraq for the use of the terror group.
At the recent All-India Police Science Congress in Kerala, a top IPS official of the Intelligence Bureau noted during a discussion on the ISIS: “A total of 70 incidents of violence have been reported outside the area of ISIS control in 20 countries including several lone wolf attacks. The targets have been remarkably similar to the ones chosen by other terror outfits targeting India, whether it is the Indian Mujahideen or the Lashkar-e-Tayyabba.”
The officer said, “There have been loose ISIS motivated or inspired groups in Hyderabad (one led by one Yazdani), one in Roorkee and lone wolves like in Parbhani. Instances of supply of logistics have come to our notice, particularly in the form of supply of medicines.”
According to top IB sources, around 300 individuals in India are on the radar of various police forces and central agencies for their “proclivity towards the ISIS cause”.
So far, around 100 persons have tried to travel to join ISIS and around 67 have reached the area of operation of the extremist group. Agencies have arrested about 60 persons, including some in Telangana state for linkages to the ISIS.
Explaining the magnitude of the problem, an IB officer said, “Over 70 lakh Indians work in the Gulf and West Asia and remain vulnerable to radical propaganda.” Several expats from Hyderabad based in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia have joined the ISIS, as has one person from Machilipatnam in Andhra Pradesh who was based in Kuwait.
An Intelligence official from AP said, “A person identified as Tulfizur Rehman, 38, an engineer from Machilipatnam who took up a job in Kuwait, has reportedly joined the ISIS. One more person, a scientist from Guntur, is working for the ISIS in Yemen.”
Analysis by the police has revealed that recent ISIS recruits from India were young - about 90 per cent in the 18-33 age group. More specifically, half the recruits from India were in the 23-28 age group. About 70 per cent had a technical background and 50 per cent were graduates.
A top official of Maharashtra's Anti Terrorism Squad said, “It has been noticed that states in South India with better education indices and economic wellbeing seem to have more sympathisers for extreme ideologies, possibly because the Gulf-based expat Indian community is predominately from these states.”
- India and Indonesia are not among the top listed countries that supply foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq. Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Morocco, Russia, France, Lebanon, Libya, the UK and Turkey are among the top 10 countries with more than 500 fighters each.
- Around 100 people have been detained and counselled and returned to their families. Much of the information came from family and community members
- At least one of the six identified Indians in an ISIS video, Mohammed Bada Sajid, a former Indian Mujahideen terrorist from Azamgarh who was also in the wanted list for the Hyderabad blasts, was killed in August 2015 at Kobane.
- No attack linked directly or indirectly to ISIS has yet been recorded on Indian soil.
- An ISIS Indian cell run by Mohammed Shafi Armar was engaged in a conversation with more than 700 people but could raise about 20.
Stages of ISIS counter terrorism
Police comes up with a four-pronged strategy to beat ISIS’ terror plans
- Disrupt transit route via Turkey, Bangladesh and Dubai.
- Closely watch ISIS recruiting and training techniques.
- Close surveillance on those who returned from Syria.
- Disrupt plots of terror attacks.