According to a CNN exclusive, the Indian intelligence agency has found a direct footprint of the banned terrorist group ISIS in Jammu and Kashmir with the arrest of one of its founding members, Qasim Khorasani, and two of his associates. Since last year, India’s intelligence agency has been tracking its movements.
Indian intelligence agencies identified Umar Nisar Bhat aka Qasim Khorasani, a founding member of the ISIS module in Jammu and Kashmir who recruited IS cadres there, on a messaging app in April 2020. With the help of Indian and foreign agencies, Khorasani was found to be based in Achabal, a small town in Anantnag district, instead of Khorasan, in Afghanistan. The group member was chatting with members on Telegram about the publication and distribution of a magazine called Swat Al-Hind (Voice of Hind), which would promote the idea of Wilayat Al-Hind (Islamic State province in India).
The Wilayat Al-Hind (Islamic State province in India) was formed in May 2019 to focus on ‘activities’ specific to India. Their mission was to incite Indian Muslims against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), avenge the demolition of Babri Masjid, and prevent atrocities in Kashmir. It praised Indian fighters in Khorasan, Syria and Iraq and the Indian Mujahideen for attacking India. In addition, the platform invoked Ghazwa-e-Hind, which means ‘Holy War against India.’ Ghazwa-e-Hind predicts that forces marching with black flags from Syria will conquer India and convert it into an Islamic state.
In February 2020, it launched Swat Al-Hind (Voice of India) magazine under the guidance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khurasan (ISKP) handlers. The magazine has so far published 17 issues. The first issue focused on the idea that ‘nationalism is a disease’ on the media channel Al-Qital. Additionally, it raised concerns regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and mentioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the home minister Amit Shah, the NSA Ajit Doval and Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
In the same issue, they said All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi and ex-president of Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union Kanhaiya Kumar, who was arrested in 2016 by Delhi Police on sedition charges, were deceiving Indian Muslims. It also paid tribute to Huzaif Al-Bakistani, a Pakistani national who influenced the radicalization of Indian youth, and who was killed by a US drone strike in Afghanistan. Furthermore, it attacked Indian Muslim scholars Mahmood Madani and Maulana Arshad Madani. Tanveer Ahmed Bhat and Rameez Lone Lone are the other two arrested. Three of them are under 35 years old.