A fugitive chief recruiter of the Islamic State in the Indian subcontinent has targeted youths from three countries -- India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka -- to involve them with the global terror outfit.
Mohammed Shafi Armar, a tech savvy, has been operating on Facebook and other personal messenger services to contact, brainwash and recruit youths from the three nations, reports NDTV today.
He has been named a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” by the US yesterday, becoming the first Indian leader of the terror outfit against whom America has sponsored sanctions.
The US State Treasury Department, while updating its list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT), has included in it Armar, a native of Bhatkal in Karnataka, clearing the way for sanctions against him, adds the report.
An Interpol Red Corner notice is also pending against the 30-year-old Armar, who has many aliases like “Chhote Maula”, “Anjan Bhai” and “Yousuf al-Hindi”.
"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 said.
"He has cultivated a group of dozens of ISIS sympathisers who are involved in terrorist activities across India, such as plotting attacks, procuring weapons, and identifying locations for terrorist training camps," said the statement.
Armar was said to have left for Pakistan along with his elder brother after the crackdown on Indian Mujahideen cadres. After a fight with Bhatkal brothers, including Riyaz, the founder of Indian Mujahideen, in Pakistan, Armar is believed to have created Ansar ul Tawhid, which later pledged its allegiance to the ISIS, NDTV reports.
His links to the ISIS were also the highlight of the interrogation of Yasin Bhatkal, who was arrested near the Nepal border in 2013.
Armar first came on the radar of investigation agencies when the NIA was probing suspected ISIS cadres in Ratlam of Madhya Pradesh.
During the interrogation of alleged IS operatives, it emerged that Armar was motivating and radicalising Muslim youths in India. He was said to have been recruiting youths for the Jund ul Khalifa-e-Hind through online radicalisation.