ISIS has become a way of life for these Indians
The world fears the ISIS, but for this Indian that is not the case. He had quite blatantly said, " The ISIS has changed me to becoming a better man."
Fahad Shaikh, one of the four youth who had left India to join the ISIS a couple of months back has decided that he will not return.
Indian security agencies who got in touch with him along with members of his family were told by Shaikh, " this is what I want to do. I am happy with the ISIS, they have changed me."
ISIS is a two way street:
Joining the ISIS can be a two way street. Either the persons makes every attempt to run away or they just stick on there till they die. The case of Areeb Majeed and Shaikh are completely different although they were roped in by the same force.
Areeb Majeed had run away from the ISIS as he feared the brutality and also was very unhappy doing jobs that included the cleaning of toilets.
However his other mates, Shaheem Tanki, Aman Tandel and Fahad Shaikh sustained the initial hiccups and went on to become fighters. Tanki was recently killed along with Sultan Armar and two others in a bloody battle in Syria. Tandel's whereabouts are unknown but whatever little information is available he is fighting in Syria.
All the four youth landed in the same place and were taken to the Hind camp. At first all of them cleaned toilets and did odd jobs for the fighters. It is only months after doing menial jobs are they considered for training. Tandel, Shaikh and Tanki survived but Majeed managed to run away unable to bear the pressure.
Why does the mindset change?
Looking at the manner in which the ISIS functions when compared to the rest of the terrorist groups, it is evident that there is a whale of a difference.
In the ISIS the recruits are told that they are part of an army and their war is aimed at establishing the Islamic Caliphate. They are made to understand that there is a sense of purpose and the job is not to carry out bomb blasts.
However in groups such as the Al-Qaeda the recruits are made to understand that their battles are specific in nature. The targets are the Israelis and the Americans most of the time.
However, the battle appears to be ending there and none of them are given the feeling that there is a larger agenda to it.
The ISIS has marketed its group in a completely different way when compared to the rest of the terrorist groups.
Firstly, the ISIS does not call itself a terrorist group. It refers to itself as the Islamic State aimed at establishing the Caliphate under its self proclaimed Caliph Abu Bakr Al-Bhagdadi. Here lies the difference and this has been a marketing wonder for them.
All those who have joined the ISIS and managed to survive have started to believe that this is a way of life and once the take over of Syria is complete, they would move on to take over the Vatican or the final bloody battle against Rome. All these boys live in the hope of seeing this happen and all of them want to be part of it.
The case of Haja Fakkruddin:
Haja Fakkurddin was one of the first known Indians to be recruited into the ISIS. Hailing from Tamil Nadu, Haja had first joined the ISIS in 2013. He however returned after seeing the brutality.
However a year later, he decided that he would give it another chance. He did not want to go directly to Syria as he was aware that the eyes of the Intelligence Bureau was on him. He got a job in Singapore and left for that place where he worked for four months.
After working for four months and ensuring that the heat on him cooled off, he dashed off to Syria. The 8 persons who he managed to recruit from Tamil Nadu also followed the same modus operandi and are now in Syria.
The challenge ahead:
The Indian security establishment is moving heaven and earth to ensure that no more persons join the ISIS.
In this challenge it has been found that the persons who are attracted to the cause of the ISIS are in the age group of 18 to 25. The older lot do not subscribe to the ISIS and have openly criticized it.
Indian officials have been roping in the elders to talk sense into the younger lot. We have succeeded to a large extent by taking the Muslim community on board, an officer with the Intelligence Bureau says.
However there is still concern that there are 12 persons who are still in Iraq and Syria fighting for the ISIS. There are attempts on to bring them back an officer points out.