New Delhi, Nov 15: The number of Indians believed to be with the ISIS is estimated at around 23. While this is a confirmed figure, Indian agencies feel that there could be a few more of them and having these persons on the radar is extremely important in today's scenario.
Several Indians have joined the ISIS in different capacities. Some are fighting on the ground while others do the odd jobs which range from nursing to cooking.
What ever the nature of their work may be, the fact of the matter is that they are with the ISIS for a very strong reason and that is they agree with the ideology of the outfit.
With the Paris attacks haunting the entire world and the ISIS claiming responsibility for the same, India has decided to undertake an exercise where it would seek the exact count of Indians with the ISIS.
It is not just the fighters, but we will seek a count of any person associated with the ISIS in the remotest possible way also, an Intelligence Bureau (IB) official informed OneIndia.
Seeking international help:
India has decided to seek help from a host of nations in a bid to get the exact count of Indians associated with the ISIS.
The Middle East and the European nations will be extremely crucial for such an exercise. What India fears the most is the emergence of the Ansar-ul-Tawhid a group that broke away from the mainstream Indian Mujahideen only to become the recruitment agency for the ISIS.
The Ansar, which is headed by the brothers from Bhatkal Sultan and Shafi Armar, has been openly endorsed by Abu Bakr al-Bhagdadi, the supreme commander of the ISIS.
While there have been reports that Sultan had died, there is confirmation that the outfit is still up and running under Shafi.
The Ansar, which was originally the Indian Mujahideen (IM). is considered to have a good reach in India. The IM had shown how capable it was as a terrorist group.
Today they work in the background and are targeting Indian Muslims who not just reside in India, but in the Middle East as well.
IB officials say that there is no question of taking the Ansar lightly. They have directly and indirectly been responsible for the recruitment of several Indian Muslims into the ISIS.
The target states of the Ansar has been Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Telangana.
Considering this the government will now coordinate with several other countries to get a proper head count of Indians in the ISIS.
There is a need for human intelligence and the objective can be achieved only if there is coordination with foreign nations.
The IB would also focus more on ISIS prone states and will seek more men on the ground to tackle this menace.