Saturday, 10 October 2015

Azamgarh IS member wants to return from Syria

In March another person from Azamgarh was thought to have died in Syria

New Delhi, Oct 10: The Indian Intelligence Bureau is making all efforts to get back an Azamgarh resident from an ISIS camp in Syria. After this person who is in his 20s expressed his desire to come back to India from Syria, all efforts are on to ensure that he returns home.
This youth whose name has been kept under the wraps for security reasons has been in touch with his family members in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh for the past month now. The family members have made a desperate appeal to the Intelligence Bureau and other officials to ensure that he returns home.

Sources confirmed that the Indian recruit had been in the IS logistics department based in Ar Raqqah, a Syrian city on the north bank of the Euphrates River considered the outfit’s headquarters. He was later shifted to IS-held areas in Iraq near the Syrian border and, perhaps, became frustrated with the inhuman and anti-Islamic activities of the outfit.

“The immediate catalyst that prompted him to contact his family seems to be the recent bombing of IS-held areas by western forces,” sources added. According to the sources, the Azamgarh youth, whose name has not been revealed, was recruited online. “His handler is suspected to be an Indian based in the UAE,” sources said, adding that he has studied till Class XII and was involved in the handloom business before leaving India.

An intelligence bureau official informed OneIndia that t
they are in touch with their counterparts in Syria and are making all efforts to bring him back to India.

To be kept under watch:
If the Indian agencies manage to secure his release from Syria, it would be the second time such an operation would have been undertaken. The last time around it was Areeb Majeed the youth from Kalyan in Maharashtra who was brought back from Iraq. While many argue the necessity of bringing back such persons who have willingly joined the ISIS, the Intelligence Bureau says that it is necessary. Such persons are a hub of information. We know in this case, the youth had a handler in the UAE who was helping Indians join the ISIS. We suspect that the handler is Shafi Armar, the official added.

While India has managed to curb the number of persons joining the ISIS, there are still some areas of concern, which need to be worked upon. There are still recruiters of Indian origin who are making desperate attempts to send Indians to camps run by the ISIS.

Desperate situation

The youth from Azamgarh has conveyed to his family members that the situation in Syria is a desperate one. With Russia joining the war against the ISIS, the situation for the outfit has gone from bad to worse. Russia has been merciless when targeting the camps of the ISIS and the outfit has not been able to fight them.

Several recruits especially from India are likely to make appeals for their return. The situation is not like how it used to be a year back. Several Indians were recruited for odd jobs such as providing logistics and also running the daily chores in the camps. Today they are being pushed into the battle field and this has made the situation for them desperate and hence they are pleading to return.

Sources in the security establishment said the man’s family shared the information with the agencies after he contacted them over the phone and showed willingness to come home. He does not have a criminal record.
If he manages to flee the IS-dominated areas — Indian agencies are actively helping him — he will be the second Indian IS recruit to escape after Kalyan-native Areeb Majeed.

If agencies succeed in bringing him home, he will be put through a mandatory deradicalisation programme, apart from being interrogated at length to determine the level of his involvement with IS. He will face punishment for his actions under Indian law, but the agencies will also ensure his proper rehabilitation.

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