Al-Qaeda and ISIS locked in a battle for Indian Mujahideen cadres
There are several cadres of the IM who today face a dilemma about which side they should be on. The investigations that are being conducted by the Delhi police who claimed they busted an al-Qaeda module in India gives the indication that the cadres of the IM are split into two.
There is a group which wanted to get out of the crutches of the ISI. This group which was headed by Sultan Armar broke away and formed the Ansar-ul-Tawhid which became the primary recruitment wing for the ISIS.
On the other hand the founder of the IM, Riyaz Bhatkal continues to owe allegiance to the ISI in Pakistan and his group would side with the al-Qaeda.
The IM dilemma:
The split in the Indian Mujahideen took place a few days before Yasin Bhatkal was arrested. He along with Armar felt that the IM cannot be controlled by the ISI. They felt that the ISI was using them selectively and the actual cause of Islam was not being propagated.
Yasin also had a host of other issues. He felt that Riyaz lived in the comfort of a mansion in Pakistan along with his beautiful wife, but he on the other had to do the dirty work of planting bombs on the streets of India. Yasin had become too hot to handle for the ISI and there is talk that the Pakistan agency may have sold out his location which led to his eventual arrest in Nepal three years back.
Armar who was close to Yasin however moved out of the IM and formed the Ansar. He was even declared as the emir of the Ansar by ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Bhagdadi. Although Armar is dead today, his group under his brother Shafi continues to recruit Indians for the ISIS.
On the other hand Riyaz Bhatkal has a group of cadres who subscribe to the ISI. The ISI wants Riyaz and company to recruit Indians into the al-Qaeda in a bid to strengthen their sub-continent wing.
The Delhi police say that when they arrested three persons from Uttar Pradesh and Odisha, it was clear that they were acting on the instructions of the al-Qaeda.
The ISI has instructed Riyaz Bhatkal to activate modules in India and carry out a recruitment drive for the al-Qaeda.