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As 2019 approaches, ISIS looks to make Global Islamic Council a reality in Kashmir, Gujarat

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New Delhi, Dec 23: The terror market in Jammu and Kashmir is already a crowded one. The Valley is dominated by groups such as the Hizbul Mujahideen, Lashkar-e-Tayiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.

Recently, a top terror operative, Zakir Musa broke away from the Hizbul Mujahideen to form a new outfit called the Ansar Ghazwat-ul Hind, a group that is affiliated to the Al-Qaeda.

As 2019 approaches, ISIS looks to make Global Islamic Council a reality in Kashmir, Gujarat

Amidst the growing fears of the terror market getting more crowded, Intelligence Bureau officials and the National Investigation Agency have warned about the rise of the Islamic State in the Valley. Come 2019 and the group would look to push harder in the Valley.

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The outfit which calls itself the Islamic State Jammu and Kashmir has been making inroads in the Valley and the NIA says that it has the support of modules of the outfit based in Afghanistan.

At first the Union Home Ministry had brushed aside fears of the outfit growing in the Valley, but new evidence and investigations have found that the ISJK has been making a big push into the Valley.

First steps:

It was in January this year that the Jammu and Kashmir police had said for the first time that the outfit has entered into the Valley. Four terrorists, including a top operative of the outfit, Dawood Ahmad Sofi were killed in an encounter at Sirigufwara, Anantnag district that month. The police had said that these terrorists were affiliated to the ISJK.

In the month of November 2017, the outfit had made an announcement in its mouthpiece, Amaq about its intentions in the Valley. It had claimed that its operatives had killed a policeman and wounded another.

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During its probe the NIA had relied on the intercepts of the ISIS terrorists discussing among themselves, about how one of their men were killed. Chatting under the name Al-Qarar, the members also called for more strikes in the Valley. The channel claimed to be the official Telegram channel of ISJK... (ISJK) has claimed that Mugees Ahmad alias Khattab, R/O Parimpora Srinagar, who got killed in a shootout in Zakura area of Srinagar, was the first militant of the organisation, the communication stated.

Another incident suggesting the presence of the outfit came out following the killing of one Mugees Ahmad Mir. He was killed in the Valley and the ISIS was quick to claim that he was their man. At first, the agencies did not buy the claim. However the events leading up to his death at Zakura and the subsequent funeral made it clear that he was an ISIS man.

Mugees at the time of the attack was dressed in a black t-shirt with the Islamic verses that are used by the outfit. His wish was to be buried with the Islamic State flag, which was obliged by the family members. During the investigations, the police had found plenty of ISIS literature at his home.

The Kashmir currency:

The talk of the ISIS and Kashmir dates back to 2013 when the outfit made its big announcement. While speaking of establishing the Caliphate, it also spoke about the Global Islamic Council. The Global Islamic Council comprises several places at which the Caliphate was to be established. The long term goal was to create an Islamic nation and establish the Caliphate. When the chief of the ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Bhagdadi spoke about the Global Islamic Council, he had marked two places in India which was to be part of it. They included both Kashmir and Gujarat. Since then the ISIS operatives in India have been working towards that goal and has made several attempts to set up shop in both Gujarat and Kashmir.

In June 2016, the NIA had arrested an operative called Sirajuddin. In its chargesheet, the NIA speaks about the modules that the ISIS sought to set up in various parts of the country including Kashmir.

The investigation conducted by the NIA suggests that Sirajjuddin and his associates had planned on carrying out a series of attacks. There was a two pronged plan. While one was to undertake lone wolf attacks the other was to establish the Caliphate in Kashmir.

If one looks closely at the map designed by the ISIS, it has portions of Gujarat in it and the whole of Jammu and Kashmir. Sirajjudin who makes references to this feels that it is only through Kashmir that they can establish the outfit.

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He felt that Kashmir must be governed not by India or Pakistan, but the Islamic Caliphate as is the claim of the outfit in Syria. Interestingly in one of the chats he shares an image of a note in the 20 denomination.

The note has the letters, ISIS Welcomes you to Kashmir. This according him should be the official currency of Kashmir. Sirajuddin in a chat with one UAE operative says that he has managed to gather 300 recruits for the ISIS.

This is a claim which the NIA doubts. He constantly speaks about overcoming the Hindus in India and says that over a period of time, the Constitution should be replaced with the Caliphate. further he seeks out information on how to reach Syria. He felt that he should train for sometime in Syria and then return to India.

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