Indian Mujahideen in Syria: These chat transcripts are a must read
Indians in the ISIS is a subject matter of concern. While there have been several instances to show that several Indians have joined the ISIS, it was the Indian Mujahideen which initially started this trend.
Recently, Yasin Bhatkal is claimed to have had friends in Syria who would help him escape. A couple of months back another IM member Sultan Armar died in Syria while battling alongside the ISIS.
Three days back Bada Sajid who was wanted in several IM orchestrated blasts too died in Syria. All these are clear indications that the journey into the ISIS by several members of the IM began in the early part of 2013.
What one gathers through these chat transcripts that all the members of the IM wanted to fight in Afghanistan.
However, it was the ISI which wanted IM members to go to Syria instead and fight alongside the al-Qaeda which was being beaten down by the ISIS. The members instead defied the order and joined the ISIS in Syria. [Yasin Bhatkal: Always a big talker]
OneIndia is in possession of four chat transcripts of Indian Mujahideen members which gives the clear indication about a rift within the outfit and also the yearning of several members to go join the war in Syria.
Chat transcript 1- May 11, 2013, Yasin Bhatal and Riyaz Bhatkal:
In coded language, Riyaz tells Yasin Bhatkal, "there is a mention in the Ahl-e-Hadith that the Khalifa (Leffaa) will be from Kuresh tribe i.e. Arab (Khazruu is derived from Khajur i.e. date).
While deciphering this message, it was found that Riyaz was telling Yasin that two persons from Pakistan will be joining them. Together they would move towards Shaam (Syria). To this Yasin responds by saying that there are two more operatives who want to go to Syria for work. Yasin says that the names of these two operatives are Farhan and Sultan.
Chat transcript 2- May 22, 2013- Yasin Bhatal and IM operative Afeef:
Yasin tells Afeef there are internal rifts. Afeef tells Yasin, Iqbal Bhatkal (Riyaz's brother) had asked Shafi Armar, Sultan Armar's brother if he wanted to go to Syria. Afeef complains that he wanted to go to Afghanistan, but Riyaz had said no.
Afeef mentioned that he wasn't bothered because of Riyaz's decision to not send him to Afghanistan, but Farhan, Sultan, Shafi and Salim Ishaqi were also demanding to send them to the battle field in Afghanistan to work with Al-Qaeda.
Further, he mentioned that he had asked Riyaz to leave the chairman's post and to give opportunity to Sultan so that all the members could get together for work under new commander.
Afeef mentioned that Riyaz always used to say that there was some technical problem in sending them to Afghanistan for work with Al-Qaeda.
However, Afeef thought that Riyaz was the main reason behind the so called technical problem. Yasin stated that he was afraid about action from the ISI due to their internal disputes.
Chat transcript 3- June 2, 2013-Yasin Bhatkal and Afeef with Shafi:
Yasin and Afeef are chatting while Shafi joins them. Shafi tells them that Riyaz had asked him to be ready for India's tour, but did not send him till date. Shafi mentioned that he was afraid of operational duties in view of arrests in India.
Shafi stated that he thought that he would be dispatched to Syria to work with other Jihadis and finally die in the battle field to get heaven.
Shafi stated that he desired that India should also become like Iraq and Syria (where terrorist activities were continuously going on and large violence taking place).
Shafi stated that if Allah gave more life to him he would come and meet Yasin after Afghanistan's tour.
Yasin tells Shafi not to come back without satisfaction in Afghanistan. Yasin asked Shafi about contact with Jasim a resident of Bhatkal who was in Kuwait. He told him that he had contact with Jasim who was afraid to work for their organization.
There was discussion about Jasim and other persons of Bhatkal in Dubai. Shafi further stated that Farhan wanted to go to Syria
Chat transcript 4- July 5, 2013- Yasin and Riyaz Bhatkal:
Riyaz tells yasin that he would need to travel either to Iran/Iraq or Pakistan, and since 99% in Iraq/Iran and Pakistan were clean shaved, he was advised to make passport/citizenship with photo without beard.
You will have to travel out of India and either reach Iraq/Iran or Pakistan, Ryaz tells Yasin Bhatkal. Riyaz further advises Yasin who has grown a beard to shave it off.
Go ahead and get your passport made with the help of Haddi (Assadullah Akthar). Remember to shave off your beard when you make the passport, Riyaz further tells Yasin.
This journey that Yasin decides to undertake was an attempt to patch things up in the Indian Mujahideen which was splitting up very badly.
However, he does not take Riyaz's advise as he begins to feel that Riyaz had become a pawn in the hands of the ISI.
He decides to leave India and reach Pakistan through the Nepal border at which time he was intercepted by the Indian police and arrested.