The police, National Investigating Agency and the Intelligence Bureau are desperate for this man. When it comes to ISIS recruitments in India, he is the real big deal.
Abdul Khadir Sultan Armar alias Sultan has several Twitter handles like: @ Sult, @ Mulla, @Moulana, @Nakhwa, @ Pandit, @ Shekhu, @ Sheikh-Ul-Hadees and @ Pujari. Born on December 12 1975, he is a resident of Haji Manzil, Nawayat Colony, Bhatkal, Dist- Uttar Kannada, Karnataka-581320.
From al Qaeda to ISIS
He started out his journey along with Yasin Bhatkal, the leader of the Indian Mujahideen who was arrested last year. The name of Armar cropped up for the first time when Yasin Bhatkal spilt the beans on him.
Bhatkal in his interrogation had told the NIA that Armar was part of a team comprising, Anwer Bhatkal, Shafi Armar, Hussain Farhan Mohammed, Salim Ishaqi and Afeef Mota who were handpicked to undergo training in North Waziristan.
At that time around they were training for the al Qaeda and there was a desperate attempt being made by the Indian Mujahideen to break away from the ISI and operate on a global scale.
Birth of the Ansar-ul-Tawhid
Since the rise of the ISIS, the cadres of the Indian Mujahideen found it to be more lucrative. Basically Baghdadi was speaking the language which the IM always wanted to hear. Armar and the rest of the Indian Mujahideen gradually began moving towards the ISIS and they actively began recruiting youth.
They had lost hope in the al Qaeda which had teething problems following the death of Osama Bin Laden. Moreover the al Qaeda was losing ground heavily to the ISIS.
It was at this time that the Ansar-ul-Tawhid was formed. This group comprised the ISIS, IM and the Tehrik-e-Taliban. A faction of the TTP also declared support to the ISIS openly only recently although they were always with the ISIS.
Endorsed by Baghdadi
Armar who showed great potential was made the leader of the AUT. After he began his recruitment drive, it was Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi who endorsed him openly as the Emir. In a video that was posted by the Al-Isabah which is a media unit of the ISIS, Baghdadi declared Armar as the emir.
This message by Baghdadi was a wake up call for the Indian agencies who realized that Armar had grown too big. The agencies who have issued a look out circular against him believe that he is in the UAE currently from where he carries out a recruitment drive.
Armar is a keen observer and has been recruiting like a pro. He operates several accounts online especially on Facebook. There is material that is posted online and under different ids, he scrutinizes the kind of messages that come in.
In his recent recruitment of a bunch of youth from Rajasthan, he was said to have interviewed them online and only after being very sure did he go about the recruitment. It was found that he had used the name Mohammad Ata when he carried out his first round of recruitments. These are the typical agents of hate and are the ones who are more dangerous, the Indian Intelligence Bureau points out.
Armar is part of a cycle which evaluates talent online before roping them in. He does not undertake the entire job. All he does is evaluates the youth after another person has selected them. It is then up to another team to provide the recruit the finer details regarding the location and who needs to be contacted in order to join the outfit.
Armar is important because...
In the existing scheme of things, Armar is a very important person. It is clear that the ISIS has set its eyes on India and in a map describing the Global Islamic Council India is very much present in it.
The government has been fighting this problem and has succeeded in reducing the number of youth who are attempting to join the ISIS from India.
Armar who came very close to being nabbed yesterday would be an important catch in India's battle against the ISIS.