IS Uses South Asian Fighters as Cannon Fodder: Intel Report

Rohit Wadhwaney
2015.11.24
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151124-isisreport-620 Indian Muslims hold placards during a protest condemning the Islamic State terror attacks, Nov. 18, 2015.
AFP

An intelligence report that claims the Islamic State lures Indians and other South Asians by offering “jihadi brides” and then using them as cannon fodder should discourage youth from joining the terror outfit, India’s Muslim groups said.

Muslim organizations, which have launched protests against the IS in the wake of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, say the report should be reason enough for South Asian youth to avoid joining the militant group.

“There is nothing Islamic about the IS, because Islam does not permit suicides or the killing of innocent people. The IS is not just anti-Islam, but anti-humanity,” Mufti Ataur Rahman Qasmi of the Delhi-based Shah Waliullah Institute told BenarNews.

“The report clearly indicates the IS is fooling youngsters into joining jihad. Hopefully, it will help them understand these terrorists only want to use them to help forward their warped agenda,” Qasmi said.

The classified three-page report states that fighters from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, as well as certain other countries like Nigeria and Sudan are considered inferior to Arab fighters.

“There appears to be a clear hierarchy wherein the Arab fighters are preferred as officer cadre and are provided better arms and ammunition, equipment, accommodation and salaries.”

Fooled into suicide missions

The report, provided to BenarNews by the Indian Intelligence Bureau, does not identify its country of origin. Intelligence sources told BenarNews it was prepared in collaboration with agencies in countries neighboring IS strongholds Iraq and Syria.

The “so-called inferior fighters” are generally fooled into suicide missions, it says.

“Usually, they are given a vehicle loaded with explosives and asked to go near a targeted destination and call a certain number (of a person), who would purportedly come and meet them to explain the mission. However, as soon as the number is dialed, the car explodes due to a pre-set mechanism aimed at destroying a specified target,” the document states.

Explaining the “disproportionately high level of casualty among South Asians and Africans” fighting for the IS, the document states, “The Arab fighters with better battle experience are mostly positioned behind these fighters and, hence, their casualties are proportionally less …”

The report suggests that this could be the reason why at least six youths from the contingent of 23 Indians who have joined the terror group have died.

Among the dead, according to the document, are Athif Vaseem Mohammad, 25, from south India’s Telangana state; Mohammad Umar Subhan, 26, Maulana Abdul Kadir Sultan Armar, 29, Faiz Massod, 28 – all from Karnataka; Saheem Farooque Tanki, 26, from Maharashtra; and Mohammad Sajid, 29, from northern Uttar Pradesh state.

‘Jihadi brides’

The IS lures youth from foreign countries by the prospect of getting jihadi brides. Because of the “highly skewed gender ratio” in the terror group, only senior commanders and Arabs in the outfit manage to get brides, according to the intelligence report.

Those from “India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Sudan are the lowest in the priority for jihadi brides since they are considered ethnically inferior to breed the next generation of jihadi fighters in IS territory,” the report states.

The report adds that the IS brainwashes fresh recruits from South Asia by “invoking the fear of Jinn,” considered supernatural creatures in Islamic mythology, telling them “that the Jinn will continue to haunt them for the rest of their lives” if they return to their home country.

“The passports of foreign terrorist fighters from South Asia and certain African countries are usually burned upon their arrival in Iraq/Syria to prevent them from going back to their countries,” it says.

Abdul Hamid Nomani of the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, one of India’s leading Islamic groups, said the report will shed light on the tricks used by the IS to lure potential jihadists.

“We have carried out numerous protests against the IS, hoping it would discourage youngsters from joining the terrorist group. But the onus lies with the families to educate their wards about the real meaning of Islam,” he told BenarNews.

Indian Muslim groups recently forwarded to the United Nations what they termed the world’s “biggest fatwa” against the IS, signed by more than 1,000 Muslim scholars and leaders from all over India.

Days later, Maulana Maqsood Rasheedi, the chief of nearly 6,000 mosques in Karnataka state, issued a directive against the terror group.

The directive, which is read every day in mosques across the state before or after the prayers, says: “In present times, many people with the intention of bringing disrepute to the religion have adopted many serious measures. One of the most popular strategies is using the name of Islam to propagate their own ideologies. This ideology and acts are highly condemned by both the religion and Muslims.”

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