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The Islamic State on Monday claimed that an Indian suicide bomber killed a “number” of people in an attack in Syria’s north west Raqqa, the de-facto capital of the terror group. In a statement in Arabic via its Amaq propaganda agency, the IS identified the Indian suicide bomber as Abu Yusuf al-Hindi, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, a US-based monitoring firm.
The terror group claimed killing and wounding a “number” of what it described as “Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) apostates” in the suicide attack involving the Indian bomber. However, there was no confirmation about the IS claim by the Indian agencies.
Abu Yusuf al-Hindi was the fugitive chief recruiter for the ISIS in the Indian subcontinent and was known as Mohammed Shafi Armar, who had many aliases like ‘Chhote Maula’ and ‘Anjan Bhai’. The 30-year-old was named a ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorist’ by the US in June, becoming the first Indian leader of the dreaded terror outfit against whom America slammed sanctions. An Interpol Red Corner notice was also pending against him.
Al-Hindi, a native of Bhatkal in Karnataka, was a leader and head recruiter in India for the Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) and Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) group, ISIS, according to the US State Department. While announcing sanctions, it had said that he cultivated a group of dozens of ISIS sympathisers who are involved in terrorist activities across India, such as plotting attacks, procuring weapons, and identifying locations for terrorist training camps.
He was said to have left for Pakistan along with his elder brother after crackdown on Indian Mujahideen cadres. There have been many reports of him having been dead in a drone attack or crackdown by the allied forces. However, every time intelligence agencies began giving credence to such reports, his name or voice cropped up in intercepts.
Tech savvy al-Hindi has been operating on Facebook and other personal messenger services to contact, brainwash and recruit youths from India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. His links to the ISIS were also the highlight of the interrogation of Yasin Bhatkal, who was arrested near the Nepal border in 2013.