Al-Qaeda linked Turkish group expanding base in areas close to Indo-Nepal border: Report
An al-Qaeda linked-charity group from Turkey has been working with Islamai Sangh Nepal (ISN), which is under the scanner of Indian intelligence agencies for allegedly providing sanctuary to terrorists, to expand its logistical hub for jihadist networks, according to an investigation by Nordic Monitor.
The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief or IHH has been running multiple projects in Nepal, especially in areas close to the Indian border, to broaden the support base among the country's minority Muslim community and expand logistical operations in support of global jihadist networks.
The main facilitator for the IHH gaining a foothold in the Himalayan country was the ISN, which has received funding directly from Turkey to finance various projects.
The IHH has been named in the UN Security Council documents and was investigated for running a line of support to armed terrorist groups in Syria.
The IHH is known as a tool of the Turkish intelligence agency MIT and has been supported by the government of Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which granted the organization special privileges for raising funds.
The activities of the IHH focus on several provinces of Nepal, especially in Province No. 1, Province No. 2 and Lumbini province. It has established mosques, madrasas, orphanages and Islamic centers in several cities including the capital city Kathmandu. It seems the IHH has taken a special interest in places like Sunsari that are close to the Indian border.
The Islami Sangh Nepal (ISN), a Kathmandu-based organisation, came under the scanner of Indian intelligence agencies for allegedly providing sanctuary to fugitive Indian terrorists in 2018.
The ISN's connection to Turkey's radical Islamists is not only limited to the IHH. It was also listed as a member of an organization called the Union of NGOs of the Islamic World (Islam Dunyasi Sivil Toplum Kuruluslari Birligi, or IDSB), a front outfit for Turkish paramilitary group SADAT.
Turkish government's development agency TIKA is also one of the sponsors of ISN activities in Nepal.
Ali Fuat Yilmazer, former head of the Turkish police intelligence section that specializes in radical religious groups, testified in court on August 16, 2016 that "the IHH campaigns are designed to provide aid for jihadists engaged in terrorism around the world and supply medical aid, funding, logistics and human resources for jihadists."