Tuesday January 22, 2019
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Indian diaspora under scanner against IS influence

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Members of the Indian diaspora, including students are being kept a close eye on by Indian investigative agencies, for fear of growing IS influence.

According to sources quoted by DNA, more than 500 individuals living abroad have already been ‘surveyed’, and that too much before the Paris attacks on November 13. This was done on the Union Home Ministry’s orders to the agencies to keep the diaspora under observation. The states and Union territories have all been advised to do the same.

The advisory sent to Director Generals of Police read: “Though the IS has not been able to establish any significant presence in India, its success in radicalising some youth, attracting certain sections of local population or Indian diaspora to physically participate in its activities or the possibility of piggy-backing on terrorist groups operating in India have opened up the possibility of IS-sponsored terrorist attacks on Indian territory.”

“Between 2014 and 2015, more than 500 persons, who were either travelling to foreign countries or have gone there for permanent settlement, were kept under surveillance. We have also been keeping a tab on persons who have extended families abroad,” a source remarked.

The people investigated included both students and those settled abroad for work for more than two years. Of the number ‘surveyed’, atleast 40-50 youths, mostly from south Indian states, are said to have close IS links. They haven’t spoken to their families for more than a year, informed agencies.

“We have found out that 40-50 youths have communicated with members of IS through social media. There is high possibility that they might be in contact with the Indian diaspora as well,” added the official.

Last Friday, the home ministry met with senior state agency officials, where it said that the recent terror attacks in Paris was an indication of the IS aim to expand from its main operation in Iraq and Syria.

Afsha Jabeen also known as Nicky Joseph, is a 37-year-old woman who was deported by the UAE in September for allegedly carrying out IS recruits via social media. Turkey deported yet another girl, a 17-year-old girl from UAE, who had been going there to join the IS.

Reportedly, already as many as 23 Indian youths from have already joined IS, while 70 have been stopped. Intelligence officials say that six youths from India died while fighting beside the terror group.

Athif Vaseem Mohammad, Mohammad Umar Subhan , Maulana Abdul Kadir Sultan Armar, Saheem Farooque Tanki, Faiz Masood,all hailing from south Indian cities, and Mohammad Sajid alias Bada Sajid from UP, are the ones who died.

(Inputs from dna)                   

 

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U.S’s SDF Arrests Five IS Agents, Five More Deported From Syria

Syrian Kurdish officials last September told VOA they were holding in their prisons 514 IS foreign fighters, along with 534 wives and 1175 children of IS foreign members

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Syria, SDF
FILE - Suspected Islamic State members sit inside a small room in a prison south of Mosul, July 18, 2017. (VOA)

The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Monday confirmed the arrest of five Islamic State foreign fighters and the handover of five more to their governments in efforts to rid eastern Syria of the jihadists.

In an interview with VOA, SDF spokesperson Mustafa Bali confirmed the five IS fighters, two Americans, two Pakistanis, and one Irish, were arrested on Dec. 30 during a special operation in eastern Deir el-Zour province.

He said the operation saved dozens of displaced civilians from being targeted.

“Our special anti-terror forces obtained information that IS thugs were planning an attack against civilians who are fleeing the war zone,” Bali told VOA. “We conducted that operation based on the information and arrested five of them who are in our prisons now.”

Syria, SDF
Deir el-Zour (VOA)

 

In a statement, the SDF identified the American men as Warren Christopher Clark, 34, nicknamed Abu Mohammad al-Ameriki, and Zaid Abed al-Hamid, 35, nicknamed Abu Zaid al-Ameriki. It said the other two men, Fadel al-Rahman Cad, 48, nicknamed Abu Enam al-Muhajir, and Abed al-Azem Rajhoud, 19, nicknamed Abu Omea al-Pakistani, travelled from Pakistan. The fifth man, Alexandr Ruzmatovich Bekmirzaev, 45, is originally from Dublin,Ireland.

Spokesperson Bali said an investigation is under way to obtain more details about the men and their activities in eastern Syria, adding that more jihadists could be arrested as the U.S.-backed forces make further advances in the days to come.

The SDF said the arrests are part of their Jazeera Storm operation, supported by the U.S.-led global coalition against IS, to remove the terror group from its last bastions in eastern Syria near the Iraqi border.

“ISIS, which is now cornered in a small area after being cleared from large swathes of territory it once held, is suffering heavy losses due to operations of our forces,” the SDF said in its statement Saturday, using another acronym for IS.

SDF
Families and relatives of Islamic State militants are seen after they surrendered themselves to the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in al-Ayadiya, northwest of Tal Afar, Iraq, Aug. 30, 2017. (VOA)

IS families

Meanwhile, the SDF said Monday it also handed over five IS fighters, along with 11 wives and 30 children of IS fighters, from Kazakhstan to Kazakh authorities following months of preparation for their transfer.

The SDF did not disclose the identities of the IS fighters and their family members but said the move was part of a formal protocol with Kazakhstani government, meditated by the U.S.

Also Read: US Troops Would Be Withdrawing From Syria Over A Period of Time: Donald Trump

“The reason that made the handing over of those people got late was technical reasons. The agreement was applied on 5 Jan 2019, where they were formally handed over to their country with American mediation,” the SDF said in the statement.

Syrian Kurdish officials last September told VOA they were holding in their prisons 514 IS foreign fighters, along with 534 wives and 1175 children of IS foreign members, from 44 countries. The officials said they were overwhelmed by the burden and asked the relevant countries to retake their nationals. (VOA)