In the hierarchical world of ISIS fighters, Arabs are preferred for officer cadres while South Asians, including Indians, are not considered good enough fighters, says an assessment prepared by foreign intelligence agencies that was shared with their Indian counterparts.
While Arab fighters are provided better arms and ammunition, equipment, accommodation and salaries, jihadi recruits from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan are used as fodder by pushing them to mount suicide attacks.
“The fighters from South Asia are usually housed in groups in small barracks and are paid less than the Arab fighters and are provided inferior equipment,” the report says.
According to the report, south Asian fighters are given explosive-ladden vehicles and asked to proceed to target destinations and then call a certain number upon which someone would come and meet them to detail the mission. But the vehicle would explode due to a pre-set mechanism as soon as the call is made.
The report suggests that since South Asian and African foreign terrorist fighters are forced to the front lines as foot soldiers, the level of casualty among them is “disproportionately high”.
The Arab fighters with better battle experience are mostly positioned behind these fighters and hence their casualties are proportionally less in terms of their total numbers.
Only Tunisian, Palestinian, Saudi Arabian, Iraqi and Syrian are allowed to be in the ISIS Police force, which is barred for fighters of all other nationalities.
A total of 23 Indians have so far joined the ISIS of which six reportedly killed in different incidents while the number of recruits from Bangladesh and Pakistan is significantly higher.
The ISIS now controls an area in Iraq and Syria which is bigger than the size of UK.
The report also speaks of information that the ISIS considers Islam, as it is practised in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh .., as apostate and a departure from the original teachings of Quran and Hadith, which makes them less motivated towards Salafist Jihad.
The fear of the ‘Jinn’—a supernatural creature in Islamic mythology—is also invoked to brainwash fresh recruits from South Asia and certain other countries.