Rabat - Indian Intelligence groups confirmed the presence of Indian nationals in ISIS forces and claimed to have dissolved several ISIS recruitment cells in various parts of the country.
Rabat – Indian Intelligence groups confirmed the presence of Indian nationals in ISIS forces and claimed to have dissolved several ISIS recruitment cells in various parts of the country.
Syrian Arab Army sources have confirmed there has been a recent surge in the number of dead Indian fighters near the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria.
ISIS had recently launched a new propaganda video showing off a large group of Kalashnikov-wielding jihadists allegedly from India fighting against Syrian forces in the province of Homs.
The video is part of an ISIS propaganda campaign highlighting foreign fighters in their ranks. In a quote regarding the release of the video, US-based private SITE Intelligence Group had this to say:
“The terror group’s division in Homs released the video on Indian fighters aimed at recruiting jihadists from the country to fight against the Syrian government forces.”
“The interviewed ISIS fighters called on Indians to leave their country and join the ‘jihad’ in Syria against the ‘kuffar’ (infidels),” Al-Masdar News today reported
In following these reports it was revealed that Indian fighters have not only joined ISIS but many Free Syrian Army and Non- FSA affiliated Rebel factions fighting against Bashar Al Assad such as Jaysh Al Islam, Ahrar Al Sham and Jabhat Fatah Sham earlier known as Jabhat Al Nusra which is known as arch rival of ISIS in Syria. According to sources most of these Indian fighters are in besieged Aleppo, surrounded by Syrian Government forces and their prime ally the Russian Special Forces. Most of these Indian nationals, believed to be in good numbers, are thought to be foot soldiers with not much authority who either travelled directly to take part in the fighting or who were already present within Syria before the uprising began.
Bilal Abdul Kareem, a journalist reporting for On The Ground News from Aleppo, confirmed in an OGN live feed that he has seen many fighters from India within rebel ranks and that they were mixed with other foreign fighters trying to help the rebels break the siege. According to Kareem rebels are planning a strong strategy to break the siege that has been harshly imposed by Syrian Government forces and Russian Special Forces with additional assistance allegedly provided by Hezbollah and Iranian armed groups.
“There are lot of fighters from India here, some came directly and some from other countries, to say they’re part of one particular faction isn’t right as I see them spread out.”
In response to being asked about which intelligence groups are working currently in Aleppo, the journalist had this to say, “All of them, that’s the reality. Every country who has got their stakes in Syrian war has got their spies out somewhere here.”
When asked about Moroccan fighters in Aleppo, Kareem responded this way, “Moroccan nationals are also present in Aleppo, Syria in same pattern as Indian fighters, Spread out not just in one faction.”
It is estimated that Moroccans account for the third largest foreign fighting force within ISIS with 2500 fighters, just behind Russia with 2755 and 3000 Saudis.
This is the first time we have confirmed reports of Indian Fighters fighting for the rebel faction not associated with ISIS, earlier in June India’s National Intelligence Agency, the NIA, arrested 5 men it alleged were members of an Islamic State cell operating under the command of Muhammad Shafi Armar, head of a group of Indian jihadists based out of Raqqa in Syria.
According to an inside source at the NIA, it is believed, “There are indeed many groups in Syria. But our experience has been that most people from India, who have travelled to Syria or wanted to, had their eyes set on the IS, not the other groups,” offered an NIA official, after being promised anonymity as communication with the media is not allowed.
It is believed that Al Qaeda operates in Indian administrated Kashmir through its affiliate group Lashkar e Taiba (LeT). The outfit claimed that it had assisted the Taliban militia and Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network in Afghanistan during November and December 2002 in their fight against the US-aided Northern Alliance. Most Indian fighters have joined Al Qaeda affiliates like Jabhat Fateh Sham (Formerly known as Al Nusra Front or Al Qaeda in Syria), Jund Al Aqsa, Jaish Al Muhajireen wal Ansar, Khorasan Group and Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan.
In august Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs M.J Akbar Visited Damascus and was received by Bashar Al Assad Himself.
Assad emphasized: “India has a role to play in meeting the challenge of terrorism” while Akbar noted that so much destruction in Syria was now going to pave the ground for “an era of re-construction”.
ISIS carried out a major attack in neighboring Bangladesh last July that led to the killing of 28 citizens, including an Indian national. This set alarm bells ringing in New Delhi about the need to do more in the global war on terrorism, before ISIS strikes at the heart of India. Their prime concern is Shafi Armar, also known as Yousuf Al Hindi, the main Daesh recruiter in India who has been hunting young Muslim teens and sending them to the battles of Aleppo.
Damascus has agreed to provide the names of Indian citizens involved with terrorist organizations fighting in the Syrian north, notably Al Qaeda affiliate Jaish Al Mujahideen Wa Al Ansar and the so-called Islamic State, or Daesh.
Edited by Constance Guindon