Islamic State has released a new propaganda video featuring Indian nationals who have joined the ranks of fighters in Iraq and Syria. This is the first video of the dreaded terror group to have been made with main focus on India and South Asia.
The 22-minute long documentary-style video is mostly narrated in Arabic and has interviews from alleged Indian jihadists who speak in Hindi and English. While identifies of men from the video are yet to be established, a newspaper has claimed to have confirmed the identify of an Indian jihadist.
Fahad Tanvir Sheikh, an engineering student from Thane, who made headlines for travelling to Syria in 2014 to fight for the ISIS can be seen in the video. He now goes by the pseudonym Abu Amr' al-Hindi, reported The Indian Express.
In the video, Sheikh threatened to strike India to avenge “the Babri Masjid, and the killings of Muslims in Kashmir, in Gujarat, and in Muzaffarnagar.”
The other faces seen in the video were suspected to be the former members of Indian Mujahideen who reportedly ended their allegiances to their Pakistan commanders to join the ISIS.
The sole motive of the ISIS's latest video is to recruit new jihadists from the country to fight against the Syrian government forces, said US-based private SITE Intelligence Group
The jihadists talk about their personal journeys, what forced them to leave the country, advocate violence and mock the Indian Muslim leaders who campaign against the ISIS. One of the members claim that he had to leave Mumbai for the Khorasan region, or the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, in the wake of Batla House encounter in 2008, in which Indian Mujahideen commander Atif Amin was killed.
Indians travelling to Iraq and Syria is a new security challenge that has baffled security forces. There is no official information on the number of Indians fighting alongside the ISIS in Iraq and Syria, however, last year a media report pegged the number at 23.
The ISIS is one of the most evolved terror outfits and has been using the internet and social networking sites as its hunting ground for recruiting jihadists. However, the efforts of Indian security agencies have rescued and prevented Indian youths from joining the terror outfit.
On the other hand, Indian Muslim community is also doing its bit to spread the awareness against ISIS propaganda. Last year, on the last day of Urs-e-Razvi of Dargah Ala Hazrat, nearly 70,000 clerics passed a fatwa against terrorist organisations, including ISIS, Taliban and al-Qaida, saying they are “not Islamic Organisations.”