GUWAHATI: Concerned over the threat posed by the Islamic State (IS), Director of Intelligence Bureau Syed Asif Ibrahim has insisted on involving religious leaders in the de-radicalisation process and adopting a counter-narrative to jihadi propaganda.
“Today, we are faced with numerous challenges and threats that transcend the national boundary. This conference has listed certain issues which can cause serious security challenges if not addressed on priority. The emergence of IS in Iraq and Syria is one such issue,” he said at the 49th conference of DGPs and IGPs here on Sunday.
His comments came a day after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had told the conference that Indian youth were increasingly getting drawn to the IS.
Ibrahim said the rapid territorial gains and declaration of caliphat had on the one hand glamourised the IS while on the other it enhanced its credibility. He said vulnerable youth and fringe elements from over 80 countries also joined the conflict. “On the other hand, in order to improve its flagging image, the al-Qaeda has announced the formation of al-Qaeda in Indian sub-continent (AQIS), specifically targeting India. These developments may lead to reverberation of the global jihadi mindset in India and have an adverse impact on national security. However, the threats posed by the developments have not found significant traction,” Ibrahim said.
He said unlike many western countries, only a handful of youth had fallen prey in India. With few exceptions, he said, local intervention and family counselling had also proved adequate in dissuading the recruits.
The IB chief said although prominent Muslim social and religious organisations and seminaries and clerics in India already rejected the declaration of caliphat and AQIS, the threat was likely to accentuate if the situation unfolded further in the future.
“The Indian diaspora may become increasingly vulnerable. There is also an imminent danger of Indian youth moving to the conflict zone, emerging as role models. The threat perception, from the core group and the returnees from the conflict zone, has been assessed as significant. The ease, rich and anonymity internet provides in radicalising the youth is a challenge and it raises the need to de-radicalise,” he added.