Inputs generated by the Intelligence Bureau have revealed that ISIS handlers who are targeting Indian youth to join their ranks have moved beyond ideological grounds and are now luring them with promises of money and jobs.
According to officials, the questioning of some of the youth, mostly from Kerala, who have been in contact with ISIS recruiters through various mediums, have revealed that they were promised high-paying jobs and money if they managed to reach Syria and join the ISIS.
The IB has also learnt that the ISIS wants to recruit Indian nationals so that they can be trained in Syria and later be sent back to India to carry out terror acts.
"Earlier, the youth were lured in the name of Islam and were told that their association with ISIS would help establish the Islamic Caliphate. Now they (handlers) are using money and jobs to attract more youth into their fold. This is a more practical reason for many youth to join the ISIS. The second thing that has worried us is that the ISIS is now no longer confining its overtures to the Muslim youth. They are now also targeting Hindu youth. At least three Hindu youth from Malappuram in Kerala have been approached by the ISIS handlers," an official with the IB said.
Kerala continues to be the most fertile ground for ISIS recruiters, who are contacting youth from Kozhikode and Malappuram.
Sources said that Kerala continues to be the most fertile ground for ISIS recruiters.
"The support for the ISIS has been observed very prominently in Kerala and social media monitoring has suggested that youth from areas around Kozhikode and Malappuram are being regularly contacted by ISIS recruiters who are based not just in Syria, but in other Gulf countries too," the official quoted earlier said. "A youth, who has done his engineering, was offered financial help and was also promised a senior position in the ISIS hierarchy if he joined the terrorist group in Syria. Fortunately, we were able to stop him before he left. We managed to dissuade him from joining the group," said the official.
According to officials, once someone decides to join the ISIS, it becomes very difficult to stop him.
"There are several ways to reach Syria and the ISIS propaganda documents that we have recovered, have dedicated chapters on how to reach Syria without alerting the authorities by taking an indirect flight to other nearby countries and then reaching Syria by road. Their handlers are very proficient and are able to secure the confidence of anyone who shows the inclination to join the ISIS," said an official with the National Investigation Agency.