Dreaded terrorist group ISIS does not consider South Asian Muslims, including Indians, good enough to fight in conflict zone of Iraq and Syria and treated as inferior than Arab fighters but often tricks them and push into suicide attacks.
According to an intelligence report prepared by foreign agencies and shared with Indian agencies, fighters from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh as well as certain countries like Nigeria and Sudan are considered inferior to Arab fighters.
There appears to be clear hierarchy wherein the Arab fighters are preferred as officer cadre and provided better arms and ammunition, equipment, accommodation and salaries. “The fighters from South Asia are usually housed in groups in small barracks and are paid less than the Arab fighters and are provided inferior equipment,” the input says.
There are reports that the so-called inferior fighters are also, at times, tricked into suicide attacks. Usually they are given a vehicle loaded with explosives and asked to go near a targeted destination and call a certain number, who would purportedly come and meet them to explain the mission. However, as soon as the number is dialled, the car explodes due to a pre-set mechanism aimed at destroying a specific target.
A total of 23 Indians have so far joined the ISIS of which six reportedly killed in different incidents. The dead are: Athif Vaseem Mohammad (Adilabad, Telangana), Mohammad Umar Subhan (Bangalore, Karnataka), Maulana Abdul Kadir Sultan Armar (Bhatkal, Karnataka), Saheem Farooque Tanki (Thane, Maharashtra), Faiz Masood (Bangalore, Karnataka) and Mohammad Sajid alias Bada Sajid (Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh).
The intelligence report suggests that there is a disproportionately high level of casualty among the South Asian and African foreign terrorist fighters since they are forced to the frontlines of battle as foot soldiers.
The Arab fighters with better battle experience are mostly positioned behind these fighters and hence their casualties are proportionally less in terms of their total numbers. This explains why so many Indians from a small Indian contingent have died, it says.
The intelligence report says there is information that foreign fighters of Chinese, Indian, Nigerian and Pakistani origin are housed together and are monitored closely by the ISIS Police.
Incidentally, only Tunisian, Palestinian, Saudi Arabian, Iraqi and Syrian are allowed to be in the ISIS Police force, which is barred for fighters of all other nationalities.
Hence, there is a clear trust deficit between the dominant Arab fighters from other nationalities, who are mostly attracted to ISIS through its sophisticated propaganda techniques on the Internet.
There is also information, the intelligence input suggests, that the ISIS considers Islam, as it is practised in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, as apostate and a departure from the original teachings of Quran and Hadith, which makes them less motivated towards Salafist Jihad.
Hence, there are authentic reports of brain washing of fresh recruits from South Asia and certain other countries by invoking the fear of ‘Jinn’, which are considered supernatural creatures in Islamic mythology, the intelligence input says.
The fear of ‘Jinn’ is invoked to ensure that the recruits from these countries do not return to their countries of origin on the premise that the ‘Jinn’ will continue to haunt them for the rest of their lives if they do so.
Further, passports of foreign terrorist fighters from South Asia and certain African countries are usually burnt upon their arrival in Iraq-Syria to prevent them going back to their countries.