The recent crackdown on Islamic State of Iraq and Al- Sham ( I SIS) operatives across the country has once again brought to focus the group’s online presence — in particular the numerous social networking accounts that members of ISIS have formed to hunt and recruit more members.
One of the recent ISIS documents — available online despite the central government’s assurance that access to them will be restricted — has a list of Twitter accounts for male recruits and a separate one for women.
These people live in t he Islamic State, the document states. “They have Surespot and other private messaging apps. If their Twitter is banned, they will always make a new one. Remember to use the anonymous TOR browser or the ChatSecure app!” the document states.
A senior anti- terrorism officer, who was part of the crackdown said, “Once they make initial contact on a social networking site like Twitter, they move to private messaging apps, and then the indoctrination begins, and it ends with a call to join ISIS in Iraq.”
The focus of ISIS or al-Qaeda on India is not new, said the officer. “Though al-Qaeda has never claimed any terror strike, there always was a tacit understanding between terrorist organisations like LeT and al-Qaeda.”
The major issue that concerns security agencies is the proliferation of the ISIS media wing, which has been constantly releasing e-books. “It i s worrying to see ISIS analyse the Paris attacks in an e-book,” said a senior ATS officer, on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.
Another recent ISIS document released names Ilyas al Kashmiri, who ISIS identifies as the world’s most fearsome guerrilla expert, as the person who has encouraged LeT, Taliban and al-Qaeda to start a terror campaign in India.
“The AQ knows t hat by spreading terror in India, it will attack Pakistan for ‘harbouring terrorists on its Afghan border. Pakistan will retaliate and al-Qaeda and the Taliban will support their Muslim neighb ours, and possibly even Bangladesh [another Muslim majority neighbour]. This full regional war will make a Muslim vs Hindu conflict, finally giving Muslims a victory as promised by Prophet Muhammad,” reads the document as the reason to spread terror in India.
The document makes it a point to comment on the beef ban, ‘ In India, a movement of Hindus is growing to kill Muslims who eat beef. The people who fund these organisations want a huge following of Islam-haters, who can turn i nto potential recruits f or future wars in their countries. They have a political wing for the propaganda to get more recruits, and armed militias who can start a terror campaign against their number 1 enemy — the Muslims.’