Ports, airports alerted to check ‘radicalised’ Indians returning from IS strongholds in Syria, Iraq | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Ports, airports alerted to check ‘radicalised’ Indians returning from IS strongholds in Syria, Iraq

Indian agencies are constantly in touch with their Iraqi, Syrian, Russian and American counterparts to ensure that each of these radicalised mercenary Indians is accounted for and not let loose in the society at large.

india Updated: Oct 28, 2017 09:41 IST
Shishir Gupta
Syrian Democratic Forces fighters ride atop military vehicles as they celebrate victory over Islamic State in Raqqa, Syria, October 17.
Syrian Democratic Forces fighters ride atop military vehicles as they celebrate victory over Islamic State in Raqqa, Syria, October 17. (Reuters File Photo)

With the fall of Raqqa, the so-called Islamic State capital, on October 17, security agencies have alerted all airports and ports to guard against radicalised Indian fighters returning from the fallen Caliphate in Syria and Iraq.

The instructions are clear that Indian fighters are to be heavily screened and arrested on arrival.

Top intelligence sources said that available data indicates that 91 Indians joined the IS in Iraq and Syria, and Khorasan in Afghanistan. Of them, 67 went to fight in Syria and another 24 from Kerala joined the IS in Afghanistan. According to counter-terror specialists, 11 Indians have returned to India, but it is not clear whether they returned from fighting in Syria or some of them were turned back from the Turkish border.

While reports of the total number of Indians killed in fighting range from 7 to 15, there is no confirmation on any of the deceased.

Indian agencies are constantly in touch with their Iraqi, Syrian, Russian and American counterparts to ensure that each of these radicalised mercenary Indians is accounted for and not let loose in the society at large.

A detailed plan has been put into place by counter-terrorism specialists, so that all the returning Indians are profiled with their families and understood how they got radicalised in the first place.

Although there is no word on the remnants of UP born Indian Mujahideen terrorists, who moved to Syria from Pakistan under guidance of one Yousof Al Hindi, a large number of these fighters are from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.

The Indian intelligence assessment is that foreign fighters returning from Syria will find home in restive Afghanistan, south-east Asia or Africa.

Already, there are reports of IS joining hands with al-Qaeda or the Haqqani network to launch action on the Durand Line (Afghanistan-Pakistan border). Indian agencies, however, suspect the role of Pakistan in order to further destabilise Afghanistan. Although there is a genuine concern that these mercenaries will launch attacks in India later to keep the IS ideology alive, security agencies are constantly in touch with state police and associate agencies to avoid such incidents.