India

Should we be worried about Indian-origin ISIS fighters?

27 Oct 2017 | By Abheet Sethi
As ISIS weakens, India threatened by returning fighters

Several countries, including India, are preparing against potential threats posed by terrorists returning after the fall of ISIS' de-facto capital in Iraq, Raqqa, last week.

India is particularly worried following the recent arrest of three Kerala-origin ISIS suspects on their return from Turkey.

Officials believe there's an urgent need to monitor Indian airports and other points of entry/exit for suspected India-origin ISIS returnees.

In context: As ISIS weakens, India threatened by returning fighters

27 Oct 2017Should we be worried about Indian-origin ISIS fighters?

ConcernsISIS returnees could be "sleeper cells," mount "lone wolf" attacks

A little over 100 Indians are believed to have joined the Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi-led ISIS in Syria and Iraq, a small number in comparison to those from Britain, France, Belgium or Russia.

However, these ISIS members are highly trained, able to mingle with ease within India, and might be part of "sleeper cells" or mount "lone wolf" attacks.

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Who are the three arrested Kerala-based ISIS operatives?

Details Who are the three arrested Kerala-based ISIS operatives?

The three Kerala-based ISIS suspects arrested have been identified as Abdul Razk, Midilaj and MV Rashid.

The three allegedly traveled to fight alongside ISIS in Syria through Turkey.

They are linked to Shajahan Velluva Kandy alias Mohamed Ismail Mohideen, who the Delhi Police arrested in July after he returned from Turkey.

The NIA subsequently questioned him about others who might try returning to India.

Counter-terrorismWhat can Indian agencies do to catch returning ISIS fighters?

To counter the threats faced by returning ISIS fighters, Indian intelligence agencies must collaborate with partner countries such as US, UK, France, Turkey, UAE, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

It's crucial that the partner countries alert India about suspicious travelers who may have fake identities.

India can also seek assistance from Interpol, which possesses a database of 40,000 foreign terrorists.