BANGALORE: Foreign agents are out to lure poor Muslims to join the insurgents in Iraq, the Intelligence Bureau has alerted Karnataka. The agents, many disguised as students, are looking for men to take on the government in Iraq to establish an Islamic Caliphate. Fighting under the banner of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the insurgent group is offering huge salaries, according to a source.
Though the ISIS does not enjoy a presence in Karnataka, sleuths fear an increasing number of youths across India are sympathising with the organisation. Home Minister K J George told Express policemen were being sensitised to the problem after reports emerged of the ISIS gaining ground in Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. “We are keeping an eye on all suspects,” he said. Some agents in Bangalore, masquerading as students, are tempting vulnerable Muslims to join the war. “
The recruits don’t have to fight in the war zone. ISIS needs back-end support. So, these agents trap poor families with annual pay packages of about Rs 25-30 lakh,” a source said. According to the Indian Council of Cultural Relations, Bangalore is home to 5,000 foreign students from countries across the globe, including Muslim-majority ones such as Bangladesh and North African ones like Algeria, Sudan and Nigeria. Syed Tanveer Ahamed, an executive member of a Muslim organisation called Mahaz, told Express no community leader would allow foreigners to lure their youth.
However, he said, community elders had no means of keeping tabs on foreign citizens. “It is the duty of the police to watch out for extremist elements,” he said. In the south, the relatively new terror group has penetrated Kerala and Tamil Nadu. In fact, the first Indian known to have joined ISIS in Syria is Haza Fakruddin from Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu. ISIS chief recruiter Gul Mohammad Mariker, who is said to have indoctrinated 100 people, is also from that state.