India alert to ‘global threat’ IS, assures Home Minister

RSTV Bureau
Paris: Victims walk away outside the Batacln theater in Paris, Friday Nov 13, 2015. Well over 100 people were killed  in a series of shooting and explosions. French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced that he was closing the country's borders. Photo - AP/ PTI

Paris: Victims walk away outside the Batacln theater in Paris, Friday Nov 13, 2015. Well over 100 people were killed in a series of shooting and explosions. French President Francois Hollande declared a state of emergency and announced that he was closing the country’s borders. Photo – AP/ PTI

Terming the terror syndicate Islamic State (IS) a global threat, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh assured that India is alert to the threat posed by the IS following horrific terror attacks in Paris last week. More than 120 people were killed and over 300 were left wounded in the serial attacks in and around Paris. According to the initial probe, terror syndicate IS has claimed responsibility of the attacks.

“ISIS is not a threat for any particular country but for the entire world. India is alert about ISIS,” Rajnath Singh told the press pack in New Delhi on the sidelines of a function.

According to Indian security and intelligence agencies, around 20-odd Indians are currently fighting for the IS in Iraq & Syria, which even include one Australia-based Kashmiri, one Oman-based Indian and another Singapore-based Indian.

Last year, one of the youth from Kalyan, Arif Majeed, had returned home after spending about six-months with ISIS. He was arrested by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) upon arrival in Mumbai. Majeed is currently in jail facing the trial under the charges of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and section 125 of the IPC dealing with ‘Waging war against the Asiatic nation which has friendly ties with India’.

So far six Indians are believed to have been killed fighting alongside the IS militia. Among them were three Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorists, including Sultan Ajmer Shah and Bada Sajid, who had joined its ranks after being in Pakistan, two from Maharashtra and one from Telangana.

Representational Image ( PTI )

Representational Image ( PTI )

Besides, in the last one year alone, Indian agencies have come across several cases involving Indian nationals having connection with the terror syndicate.

On September 15, the UAE deported four Indians suspected to have links with ISIS. The UAE had also sent back in September a 37-year-old woman, Afsha Jabeen alias Nicky Joseph, who was allegedly involved in recruiting youths for ISIS. In January, Salman Mohiuddin of Hyderabad was arrested at Hyderabad airport when he was preparing to board a flight to Dubai on way to Syria via Turkey.

As per the claims made by the security and intelligence agencies, so far 17 young men, mostly from Telangana, have been prevented from travelling to Syria, ostensibly to join the Islamic State (IS).

Following the deadly terror attack in France, authorities have sounded high alert with the police and state governments have been beefing up securities at all foreign embassies and consulates. Security forces have also been asked to tighten the vigil at the airports, railway stations, bus terminals, markets and religious places along with vital installations.

In an advisory on Monday, the central government ordered heightened security in diplomatic missions, especially those of France, US, UK, Germany, Russia, Australia, Turkey and Israel. Citing the terror attacks in Paris it said, “It is therefore necessary that security establishment is kept on high alert to prevent any untoward incident.”

“The security arrangements for the diplomatic establishments of France, USA, UK, Germany, Russia, Australia, Turkey and Israel may be particularly reviewed and strengthened,” the advisory added.

(With inputs from the PTI)