June 16, 2017: The US state department sponsored sanctions against Mohammed Shafi Armar, an alleged chief recruiter for ISIS while renewing its list of Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) on Thursday, as reported by PTI.
The Interpol red corner notice is also lying pending against the fugitive Indian leader of the terror outfit.
Armar has many aliases like ‘Chhote Maula’, ‘Anjan Bhai’ and ‘Yousuf al-Hindi’. The 30-year-old is a native of Bhatkal in Karnataka who left for Pakistan along with his elder brother after the attack on Indian Mujahideen cadres. He is believed to have formed Ansar ul-Tawhid, which later pledged its adherence to the ISIS.
“Mohammed Shafi Armar is a leader and head recruiter in India for the Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) and Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) group, ISIS,” the State Department stated.
The statement further concluded, “He has cultivated a group of dozens of ISIS sympathizers who are involved in terrorist activities across India, such as plotting attacks, procuring weapons, and identifying locations for terrorist training camps.”
Amar has been quite active on social media like Facebook to contact, brainwash and recruit youth from India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. There have been reports of him having killed in a drone attack or crackdown of the allied forces, but every time intelligence agencies affirmed such reports, his name or voice cropped up in intercepts.
Armar was on the radar of investigation first time when the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was probing suspected ISIS cadres in Ratlam of Madhya Pradesh. His association with ISIS was also the highlight of the interrogation of Yasin Bhatkal, who was arrested near the Nepal border in 2013.
While interrogating the IS operatives, it appeared that Armar was motivating and radicalizing Muslim youths in India. He was recruiting youths for the Jund ul Khalifa-e-Hind through online radicalisation.
The National Investigation Agency had filed a charge-sheet against Armar along with five others for allegedly conspiring to carry out terror strikes in the national capital and also during ardh kumbh in Haridwar.
Two other ISIS leaders in Europe and the Middle East, Oussama Ahmad Atar and Mohammed Isa Yousif Saqar Al Binali were also listed as Specially Designated Global Terrorists by the US.
Oussama is a senior leader of ISIS’ external operations efforts and has established a network to carry out attacks in Europe.
“He was a leading coordinator of the November 2015 Paris attacks and March 2016 attacks in Brussels,” the State Department said. The Belgian-Moroccan national was responsible for recruiting, training, and sending at least some of the individuals to Paris to launch the November 2015 attacks, which killed and injured hundreds, including Americans, it said.
He also recruited and mentored two of the bombers involved in the March 2016 Brussels attacks that killed 32 and left many more wounded.
prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter: @Nainamishr94