New Delhi, Aug 25: Alarm bells are ringing for intelligence agencies in India after reports cropped up that 17 young Indians have either joined the dreaded terror group, ISIS, or are headed to its strongholds.
As per a report published in The Indian Express, 17 Indians are now missing, reported by Indian and foreign intelligence services to be active with the Islamic State or rival organisations like Jabhat al-Nusra.
In addition, up to a dozen Indian Mujahideen cadre are also believed to have joined the Islamic State, while police have stopped at least 22 volunteers from travelling, the report further added.
The news daily's reporters also visited the families of 17 missing youths to understand what drove them to join the dreaded terror outfit.
The 17 - all young men, barring a woman who has returned home - were educated, most hailing from middle-class or affluent families with conventional aspirations. Few had known links to Islamist political groups, and none to terrorism.
Earlier, Areeb Majeed, one of the four youth from Kalyan who had left Kalyan in Maharashtra to join the ISIS only to return a few months later, during interrogation told NIA that ISIS wants to wage war against India.
The investigation revealed that accused Areeb Majeed and his three associates Saheem Farooque Tanki, Fahad Tanweer Shaikh and Aman Nayeem Tandel entered into a criminal conspiracy between January 2014 to November 2014 with the common objective and intention to join IS and participate in terrorist act not only in Iraq and Syria but also in India amongst other countries.
Thus, the latest report of 17 youths heading towards joining ISIS has increased the worries of intelligence agencies. Incidents in the recent past have shown that ISIS is gaining support in parts of India. Pro-ISIS flags have been reportedly seen in Kashmir, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, already raising concerns of security agencies.