Armar a resident of Bhatkal was a major operative and had even been declared the emir of the Ansar in a video message by none other than Abu Bakr al-Bhagdadi.
Indians in the ISIS is a subject matter of concern. While there have been several instances to show that several Indians have joined the ISIS, it was the Indian Mujahideen which initially started this trend. Recently, Yasin Bhatkal is claimed to have had friends in Syria who would help him escape.
A couple of months back another IM member Sultan Armar died in Syria while battling alongside the ISIS.
With Sultan Armar dead, it appears as though the pieces have been picked up by his brother Shafi Armar Ahmed.
A module that was busted in a joint operation by the Madhya Pradesh police and the intelligence bureau has found that a group of five youth were appointed for the job. Their role including both recruitments and also carrying out terror strikes holding the ISIS banner.
While 15 are from Telangana, the remaining six are from Madhya Pradesh. While in Telangana the youth trying to join the ISIS were stopped from going out of the country, in Madhya Pradesh there was a module which had been busted by the police and the intelligence bureau
The last words of the Bhatkal man, Aby Abdullah Al hindi alias Sultan Armar was, “Don’t forget to liberate India from kuffars. My eyes fills with tears when I think of the Gujrat and Muzaffarnagar massacres.
The police, National Investigating Agency and the Intelligence Bureau are desperate for this man. When it comes to ISIS recruitments in India, he is the real big deal. Abdul Khadir Sultan Armar alias Sultan has several Twitter handles like: @ Sult, @ Mulla, @Moulana, @Nakhwa, @ Pandit, @ Shekhu, @ Sheikh-Ul-Hadees and @ Pujari. Born on December 12 1975, he is a resident of Haji Manzil, Nawayat Colony, Bhatkal, Dist- Uttar Kannada, Karnataka-581320.
From al Qaeda to ISIS He started out his journey along with Yasin Bhatkal, the leader of the Indian Mujahideen who was arrested last year. The name of Armar cropped up for the first time when Yasin Bhatkal spilt the beans on him. Bhatkal in his interrogation had told the NIA that Armar was part of a team comprising, Anwer Bhatkal, Shafi Armar, Hussain Farhan Mohammed, Salim Ishaqi and Afeef Mota who were handpicked to undergo training in North Waziristan. At that time around they were training for the al Qaeda and there was a desperate attempt being made by the Indian Mujahideen to break away from the ISI and operate on a global scale.
The Indian Mujahideen has become bigger than anyone could have imagined. The outfit which was primarily an offshoot of the Students Islamic Movement of India became one of India’s deadliest home grown terror outfits and over the years it did everything to break away from that mould in a bid to be associated with a global Islamic cause.
Be it recruitments into the Al-Qaeda, the ISIS or the cause of the Rohingya Muslims in Burma, the Indian Mujahideen stamp was found all over. The recent bombing at the Wagah border by a terror outfit known as the Jundallah also has traces of the Indian Mujahideen in it.
breaking away from the home grown mould commenced when the leader of the Indian Mujahideen, Yasin Bhatkal declared that it was time to dump the ISI. He felt that ISI had an agenda of its own and in no way did it concern the upliftment of Muslims. In fact they felt that they were being used by the ISI and when an NIA officer questioned him about him this is what he had to say. “ The ISI are a bunch of pigs who used us. They have their selective favourites such as Riyaz Bhatkal who have the privilege of marrying beautiful women and living in plush houses in Karachi while we toil all day and plant bombs like ordinary foot soldiers.”
Following the spate of arrests of the Indian Mujahideen cadres, their modules were busted all over the country. However what the agencies missed was that they had become content in lending support to international terrorist groups and being part of their larger agenda.
An operative like Sultan Ahmed Armar is an important man in this entire racket. He hails from Bhatkal, Karnataka and has been a prime recruiter for both the Al-Qaeda and the ISIS. His agenda is very straight and simple. He leans towards the ISIS, but does not shy away from the Al-Qaeda either. He understands the battle very well and recruits on the basis of need. His name has been found during recruitments both in South and North India. In south he managed to recruit several youth into the ISIS while up North he roped in 30 members to fight alongside the Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Intelligence Bureau officials say that the modus operandi of the Indian Mujahideen is extremely strategic and clear. Although the ISIS and the Al-Qaeda are not together, the IM realizes that the two outfits would eventually come together soon. They also realize that after the battle in Syria and Iraq the focus would shift to Afghanistan.
At first Sultan Armar was considered to be recruiting only for the ISIS. The first NIA dossier on him states that he is based out of India and ensures that more members join the ISIS. However another IB dossier which was prepared a month back suggested that Armar recruited for the Al-Qaeda as well and even managed to send some youth from him home town in Bhatkal across to Afghanistan. This only shows the mindset of the Indian Mujahideen which wants a piece of the pie in every terrorist outfit. It does not want to antagonize any group and will continue to contribute as per their needs.
Sultan Armar who literally runs the IM today was leaning more towards the ISIS until August. However after he found that the Al-Qaeda announced its sub continent wing, he decided that he needs to contribute towards the Al-Qaeda as well.
The attack at the Wagah border allegedly by the Jundallah is another grim reminder of the reach that the Indian Mujahideen has got. Jundallah is basically an outfit which was floated first in Iran to fight for the cause of the Sunnis against the Shias. This outfit then tied up with the ISI and then moved towards Pakistan. It was headed by Hakimullah Mehsud of the Tehrik-e-Taliban until his death. This outfit is a combination of the Tehrik-e-Taliban, Al-Qaeda and its 313 Brigade and also the Indian Mujahideen. The only agenda is to ensure that the Sunnis are on top and this outfit will rope in any organization which shares the same concern. One must not forget that even the ISIS fights against the Shias and this only would mean that they too will join the ranks sooner or later. This is the same outfit which also produced a David Coleman Headley. Sultan Armar during his conversations which have been intercepted also suggested to his forces of fighting alongside the Tehrik-e-Taliban led Jundallah.
Indian agencies say that there is a lot on their plate to handle now. It is going to be a long and difficult battle ahead and very soon we will get to see the merging of all these like minded groups and their primary agenda would be the take over of Afghanistan once the West quits.