An Indian recruit in the Islamic State’s (IS) ranks has reportedly died fighting in Kobane, Syria. On Saturday night, IS supporters sent online messages announcing the death of an Indian with the nom de guerre Abu Abdullah Al Hindi.
“Another Indian lion got sahadah in kobane. May ALLAH accept abu Abdullah Al hindi,” tweeted a pro-IS Twitter handle, @magnetgass12, on March 14, at 9:44 pm. The message was accompanied by a photograph, purportedly of the fighter, seated behind a table with a pistol on it.
Security agencies believe this Twitter handle is being operated by one of the youths from Thane who went to Iraq to join the IS.
As reported first in The Indian Express, days ahead of Barack Obama’s visit to India in January, a Twitter handle believed to be run by the youth — @magnetgas — called for a car bomb attack targeting the US President. The @magnetgas handle has been suspended on 11 occasions since then, only to resurface soon after with a serial number after “magnetgas” each time.
Shortly after the first message announcing the death on Saturday, there was another tweet from the same handle. “Two indian lions abu Uthman al hindi and Abu Abdullah Al hindi got sahadah in khilafah,” it said, referring to the earlier reported death of Indian call centre employee-turned-IS recruit Saheem Tanki.
The tweet was accompanied by an image, purportedly of Tanki, shortly before he reportedly launched a “suicide bombing” in the northeastern Syrian city of al-Hasaka in January. The image first appeared online on January 16, along with messages proclaiming Tanki’s purported death in the suicide mission.
The Twitter handle also recorded what it claimed were Abu Abdullah Al Hindi’s last words — “Don’t forget to liberate India from kuffars” — as well as his purported statements on the Gujarat and Muzaffarnagar riots — “My eyes fills (sic) with tears when I think of the gujrat and Muzzafarnagar massacre on muslims by Hindus.”
These tweets reporting the jihadist’s purported death and his words were re-tweeted by several IS supporters.
Four youths — Areeb Majeed, Saheem Tanki, Amaan Tandel and Fahad Shaikh — left their homes in Thane and went to Iraq to join the IS last year. Majeed, a civil engineering student, returned to India nearly three months ago, after reportedly sustaining combat injuries near Mosul, and is now in the NIA’s custody. He was earlier reported to have been killed in fighting.
Kobane, situated in a largely Kurdish area in northwest Syria near the Turkish border, has seen heavy fighting in recent months, with the Kurdish fighters repelling the IS. The area was pounded by air strikes by US forces.