New Delhi, May 23: It is quite ironic to see that the many operatives from India who have claimed to have joined the ISIS were originally part of the Indian Mujahideen.
Right from the top leadership of the ISIS' Indian wing to the other cadres, most of them were part of the Indian Mujahideen.
While to the outer world it is made to look as though the ISIS has created an Indian wing, many within the agencies suspect that this could be a ploy of Indian Mujahideen chief, Riyaz Bhatkal so that Pakistan has a deniability factor.
Pakistan would want attacks on India soil, but not the blame. The strategy then becomes attack India, but blame the ISIS.
The deniability factor
Pakistan has always looked to nurture a home grown outfit and this primarily led to the birth of the Indian Mujahideen.
This outfit comprised Indians who
would carry out attacks. Pakistan felt that it could have that
deniability factor if attacks were being staged from within India
This could well be the case where the ISIS' Indian module is concerned.
It is not clear where these operatives are working out of. They post pictures on the social media suggesting that they are posing in Syria or Iraq. None have been able to ascertain exactly where these posts emerge out of.
Riyaz Bhatkal who is based in Pakistan has been under pressure from the ISI which shelters him. Bringing back the outfit in the name of the Indian Mujahideen is not an easy job as there is too much heat on it now.
This could have led him making everyone believe that a large part of the IM has migrated towards the ISIS. What this effectively does is give Pakistan a deniability factor.
These persons would carry out attacks in India and the ISIS would get the blame and Pakistan would not have to deal with the accusation.
A stage managed move
The first sign of the Indian Mujahideen cadres moving to the ISIS came when Sultan Armar claimed to have joined the outfit. He started the Ansar-ut-Tawhid and said that it was an Indian recruiting wing of the ISIS.
The news gained credence as there was a bit of a falling out between Armar and Bhatkal. However after the arrest of Yasin Bhatkal, Riyaz and Sultan are alleged to have patched up and planned reviving the outfit, but in the name of the ISIS.
Take the case of several other operatives such as Bada Sajid, Shafi Armar just to name a few who all claim to have joined the ISIS. Each one of them was a hard core Indian Mujahideen member.
Another aspect that one needs to bear in mind is that the ISIS does not exactly welcome Indians into their fold. They only look for educated persons who can run social media campaigns and other propaganda battles.
The ISIS is not looking for Indian fighters as they do not find them strong enough. They would rather recruit out of Afghanistan to carry out the battle in the sub-continent.