Bengaluru: Mohammed Shafi Armar alias Yousuf al Hindi, the 27-year-old alleged head-hunter of the banned global terrorist organisation Daesh (Islamic State of Iraq & Syria) from Bhatkal, who has reportedly been killed in a drone strike in Syria had allegedly become a hot potato for Daesh, who according to sources had isolated him following the cross country arrests of Shafi’s recruits by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
“He was tasked with the online recruitment of young Indian Muslims and had floated a new terror outfit - Junud al Khalifa-e-Hind (Soldiers of the Indian Caliphate) to attract fresh blood to Daesh. The NIA has arrested 23 alleged Daesh supporters from all over India, who were recruited online by Shafi (in pic). They have given crucial information about him and his recruitment propaganda to the NIA. Following the arrests there has been a lull in Daesh recruitment in the country and Shafi went underground,” said an officer on condition of anonymity.
Daesh doubts Indian Muslims’ commitment to their violent and extremist cause and had asked Shafi to set a criteria for his recruits and challenge them to do something ‘spectacular’ in India to be considered for recruitment in Daesh.
“The arrests have not gone down well with Daesh, which suspects some inner hand behind the NIA action. It will not be surprising if they are behind Shafi’s death. There is so far no confirmation about Shafi's death,” the officer added.
Shafi rose up the ranks in Daesh based on the shoulders of his popular older brother - Sultan Abdul Kadir Armar, 39, alias Abu Abdullah al Hindi, who was killed in March last year during fighting at Kobane, on the Syria-Turkey border.
He had founded the Ansar al-Tauhid fi'Bilad al-Hind (AuT) from the remaining cadres of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) and was the masked jihadist, who used to appear in Daesh’s propaganda videos to invite Indian Muslims to train in jihadi camps in Pakistan’s turbulent North Waziristan.
The Armar siblings had fled Bhatkal almost a decade ago to join hands with the co-founders of IM - Riyaz and Iqbal but due to ideological differences and in receiving and handling of funds, the Armars split from the Shahbandaris and joined Daesh.
India no campus for ISIS
With the reported death of Mohammed Shafi Armar - the second Armar sibling and Daesh propagandist from Bhatkal to die in a drone strike in Syria, the global terror organisation’s India recruitment module has become headless.
“Shafi is the third fugitive terror suspect from Bhatkal to have died fighting for the jihadist organisation; In 2014 Anwer Hussain was killed in Kandahar in Afghanistan. Next year, in March 2015 Shafi’s elder brother Sultan, who was anointed by Daesh chief Abu Baqr al Baghdadi, as chief recruiter, was killed in Syria.