Decoding the Yusuf al-Hindi mystery, a shadowy Indian recruiter for the ISIS

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There have been several cases in the recent past in which the police have claimed to have busted ISIS modules or arrested fan boys of the outfit. The one name that has always been quoted in every investigation report is that of Yusuf al-Hindi.

Each of those arrested are believed to have told their interrogators that they were reporting to one Yusuf al-Hindi. Does anyone know who Yusuf al-Hindi is? Not really.


OneIndia spoke with at least 15 officers who have handled cases relating to Yusuf al-Hindi, but there is more of guess work rather than a confident answer as to who this man is.

Decoding the Yusuf al-Hindi mystery:

Let us first begin with the surname al-Hindi. This is a common surname that is given or taken by Indian Muslims who join the ISIS in Syria or Iraq. This is done for identification purposes. All those with the al-Hindi surname are posted in the Hind camp of the ISIS.

NIA officials say that Yusuf is again an alias and the surname al-Hindi indicates that the person is an India. According to investigators, Yusuf is the one who motivates, recruits Indians into the ISIS after radicalising them.

Be it the case in which nearly 30 persons were arrested in a country wide raid or the operation leading to the arrest of five from Hyderabad, the name of Yusuf had figured in those investigations.

Investigators claim that these youth had said that they were reporting to Yusuf al-Hindi. Some of the investigators we spoke with say that it was the name taken by Sultan Armar a Bhatkal resident who was first part of the Indian Mujahideen and later floated the Ansar-ul-Tawhid, an Indian recruitment wing of the ISIS.

However Sultan is said to have died in Syria, following which his brother Shafi is said to have taken over. The alias could now be used by Shafi, NIA officials say.

However there is no confident answer from anyone as none of the investigators have managed to put a face on Yusuf al-Hindi as yet. When Sultan Armar had taken over, there was a clear message from the ISIS leadership declaring him the emir of the Ansar-ul-Tawhid.

Following the death of Shafi which was confirmed on ISIS friendly social media platforms, there was no announcement made regarding a successor.

The ISIS does have a keen interest in India which it plans on entering through the Bengal Caliphate.

When the plans are of such a magnitude then it is only obvious that the ISIS would declare the Emir for India operations or at least acknowledge this mystery man called Yusuf al-Hindi.

Intelligence Bureau officials say that there are many who look after the operations from India from abroad. It could be a common alias and Yusuf al-Hindi may not be just one person, but a bunch of them.

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