ISIS member Mohammad Shafi Armar alias Yusuf al-Hindi’s vast propaganda network is used to attract wide eyed youngsters who are star struck by the terror group. Yusuf was the symbol of ultimate ISIS power, a man who had answers for disgruntled Indian youngsters. He was earlier in Syria, the heart of the ISIS war, a place where these youngsters pined to go.
The potential candidate could go to the Facebook page and once the page was ‘liked’ the candidate would get a message from Yusuf. Yusuf would create a Skype account for the potential recruit with chat names like ‘Gumnaam Bhai’, ‘Crazzyboys’, ‘Janta’ and ‘Hindi Bhai’.
According to reports, Yusuf prefers chatting on social networking software Trillian and the conversation would be about atrocities on Muslims across the world. The last contact he had made to operatives in India was as early as late January 2016.
Yusuf is reportedly sowing the seeds of ISIS in India by remote controlling everything sitting in Syria. He allegedly managed to exploit the hawala route and send Rs 6.50 lakh to Muddabbir Sheikh to finance terror activities in India.
He also orchestrated meetings in Tumkur, Mumbai, Lucknow, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. He provided banned web links to Md. Nafees aka Abu Zarrar on how to make bombs and directed recruits to scout for secluded forest areas for possible jihadi training programmes.
He never really disclosed his personal details to his trainees. All he is known to have said was that he was originally from Bengaluru, his father is dead and mother still lived in the city. Yusuf is fluent in Hindi and often tested his trainees in translating English to Hindi.
The ones arrested in India were Yusuf’s interns – being groomed to strike hard. They had it all, an organisational structure, physical training, finances and weapons and explosives training. Until Yusuf-al Hindi is neutralized, infatuated Indian youngsters will continue to fall prey to the ISIS.