New Delhi, Mar 18: The arrest of a 19 year old from West Bengal in connection with an ISIS related case is a worrisome signal. The accused, Ashik Ahmed, is 19 years old, a mechanical engineering student who was good at studies.
This arrest only goes on to show how the teenagers have become vulnerable to the ideology of the ISIS.
There were two other incidents involving teenagers in the recent past. While one girl from Delhi was picked up for counselling another from Pune too was questioned by the NIA.
The question that arises is why are so many teenagers from India falling trap to the ISIS. In all these three cases, there was one common platform for recruitment.
It was the internet where there are several videos of the ISIS that are hosted. Each one of them was attracted towards the ISIS through these videos and this only goes on to show the power of the internet.
NIA officials tell OneIndia that the basic scene of the crime is the internet. Most of them blindly believe what is being propagated on the internet and they have started to believe that the ISIS is the only saviour of Islam
One video and then a meeting:
The case of Ahmed is quite telling. A son of a farmer who struggled to send him to college, this resident of Hoogly was even brilliant at his studies. Pursuing his Mechanical Engineering diploma, Ahmed never came across as someone who could fall trap or be radicalised with so much ease.
A couple of months back, after college when he was surfing the internet, he came across a video. In that video there was a talk being given by one Mohammad Nafees who spoke about the plight of the Muslims in West Bengal. He even went on to name one MLA who had allegedly murdered a rival of his who incidentally was a Muslim.
The video impressed Ahmed who got in touch with Nafees. They both decided to meet in Kolkata and discuss. During the discussion, Nafees told him that the ISIS operates under the name Janood-al-Khalifa in India.
He also said that if he was interested, he would make him the head in West Bengal. Both of them discussed at length the future course of action and Ahmed was also told that they had a network in other places in the country as well.
Ahmed was made the chief and according to the NIA there were around 5 others under him. The NIA in its remand application before the court which granted 5 days custody of Ahmed says that he attempted to recruit and radicalise youth in West Bengal.
NIA officials say that his name had cropped up following the arrest of Nafees. Both had gone about Kolkata and even identified some targets.
However the NIA adds that their primary agenda was to recruit youth. They had also proposed to identify youth in remote areas of West Bengal and rope them in. The NIA says that the probe is at a probe is at a very preliminary stage and more details are likely to emerge as the investigation progresses.
Tough task on hand:
For the Intelligence Bureau which monitors the online activities of the ISIS online, the job is extremely tough. We make several requests everyday for videos and propaganda material to be taken down.
However the moment one is taken down, three others appear, the IB official said.
We have noticed that a considerable amount of teenagers are getting attracted to the ISIS.
The problem is that they are vulnerable and hot blooded and hence they get sucked in easily. We have identified several such teenagers who we have found online. In many cases, we intimate the police who in turn will have to counsel these persons depending on the gravity of the problem, the official also added.