Latest inputs from ‘sister intelligence agencies’ suggest that Islamic State does not consider South Asian foreign terrorist fighters as “martially-inclined”. Hence, fighters from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh as well as countries such as Nigeria and Sudan are considered inferior to Arab fighters, sources revealed.
According to reports from these agencies, there is a clear hierarchy where Arab fighters are preferred as officer cadre and are provided better arms, equipment, accommodation and salaries. Fighters from South Asia are usually housed in small barracks, are paid less and provided inferior equipment.
There are also reports that IS considers Islam, as it is practised in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh as apostate and a departure from the original teachings of Quran and Hadith, making followers “less motivated” towards Salafist jihad.
According to intelligence sources, there are authentic reports that fresh recruits from South Asia and certain other countries are brainwashed by invoking the fear of ‘Djinns’— supernatural beings in Islamic mythology.
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They are told Djinns will haunt them for the rest of their lives if they return to their countries. Passports of recruits from South Asia and certain African countries are usually burnt upon arrival in Iraq or Syria to prevent them from returning.
There are also reports that “inferior fighters” are at times tricked into suicide attacks. They are given a vehicle loaded with explosives and asked to approach a target destination and call a number. They are told that once they make the call, someone would come and explain them the mission. However, as soon as they call, the car explodes due to a pre-set mechanism aimed at destroying the target.
A large number of foreign fighters are lured by the prospect of getting jihadi brides. However, the gender ratio in IS-held territory is skewed with very few women. Hence there is a priority list, wherein senior commanders and ethnic Arab fighters get the first preference for a jihadi bride. Fighters from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Sudan are the lowest in the priority list since they are considered ethnically inferior to breed the next generation of Jihadi fighters in IS territory, intelligence reports claim.
There is also a disproportionately high level of casualty among south Asian and African foreign fighters since they are forced to the frontlines as foot soldiers. The Arab fighters, on the other hand, are usually positioned behind these fighters and have lower casualty rates. This explains why so many Indians have already died fighting for IS, the reports claim.
There are also reports that fighters of Chinese, Indian, Nigerian and Pakistani origin are monitored closely by the IS police. The latest reports also confirm that 23 Indians have joined the IS, of which six have died and one has returned.