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Islamic State (IS) insurgents , Wikimedia Commons

By Akanksha Sharma

ISIS recruits in India tried to take the advantage of the student movement that raged in several cities after the arrest of JNU union president Kanhaiya Kumar on sedition charges.


On February 19, when Kanhaiya was behind the bars of Tihar jail and several students were protesting and demanding the release of Kanhaiya, ISIS’s Ahmed Ali asked 19-year-old Ashiq Ahmed aka Raja of Hooghly, West Bengal to intrude the movement and burn vehicles and oil tanks with petrol.

This has been unveiled in the statements of three recruits of India’s ISIS wing — Junud al Khalifa-e-Hind (JKH) —Ashiq Ahmad aka Raja Mohammad Abdul Ahad and Mohammad Afzal.

Their statements, made under Section 164 of CrPC, was exclusively accessed by TOI. The statements of three IS members have been recorded for the first time by any agency.

The NIA concludes that the idea was to further stir the students and make the situation even more chaotic. Their testimony proves the creation of JKH and their meetings in Tumukur and Bengaluru (Karnataka), West Bengal and Punjab.

Ashiq told NIA that Ahmad Ali, who claimed himself the boss of Ansar-ut Tawhid fi Bilad al-Hind (AuT), contacted him through his ID on Trillion App on February 19.

“He told me that agencies are keeping a tab on us. He told me that a student movement is happening in the country and that we should enter and put vehicles, oil tankers on fire,” Ashiq revealed.

Agencies doubt that Ali and Shafi Armar, the leader of ISIS department in India is the same person who is believed to have died in a recent US drone attack.

Related Article: New President is hoped to thwart emergence of ISIS in Philippines

NIA captured Ashiq on February 22, AuT is connected to ISIS and the outfit opened JKH in India and planned to have a unit in every state, as claimed by Bengaluru- based Ahad.

Ashiq told that he was asked to ”learn spying, swimming and drawing maps”, and that their first target would be “Shias”, while they also planned to “free former IM chief Yasin Bhatkal from jail”.


JNU campus. Image source: Wikipedia

Ashiq further said that “When I asked Ali for a pistol and sent him a picture of a temple near my place (in Hooghly) where we could have carried out a blast to impress him, he told me that we will not do anything small,”

Ashiq, who was studying mechanical engineering, said he was attracted towards ‘Jihad’ since his girlfriend broke up with him citing the reason that she couldn’t leave her religion for him. “I was thinking of changing my religion and then going to her parents,” he said.

Ahad said that he “was against the idea of jihad as he wanted to help poor people of Muslim community, which was not JKH’s plan”. Ahad was a science graduate from US . Before joining ISIS he worked in Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and UAE.

He further said “In December 2014, I visited Turkey as I wanted to go to Syria and see the reality on the ground. I was looking at the possibility of opening an NGO to help the victims of war but I was deported to India.”

(Inputs from TOI)


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