New Islamic State video features alleged Indian recruits saying they want to avenge Muslim deaths
The clip describes Hindus as ‘cow-worshippers’ responsible for Muslim killings in India and also attacks Muslim leaders for associating with non-Muslim leaders.
A new video released by the Islamic State early on Friday purportedly features Indian recruits saying they will avenge the killing of Muslims in multiple incidents in India. “We will return, but with a sword in hand, to avenge the Babri Masjid, and the killings of Muslims in Kashmir, in Gujarat and in Muzaffarnagar,” said Fahad Tanvir Sheikh (pictured above), an engineering student from Thane who was known to have travelled to Syria in 2014.
This is the Islamic State’s first propaganda video aimed at India and South Asia. Sheikh, who uses the pseudonym Abu Amr’ al-Hindi, was the only Indian conclusively identified in the 22-minute-long Arabic clip. He went to Syria with three other men from the city in 2014. Others in the video have yet to be identified, but are suspected to be former operatives of the Indian Mujahideen, The Indian Express reported.
A government official said, “The last photographs we have of many of these people are from before 2008, when many of them were just adolescents. It’s hard to be certain just who is in the video, though it is possible to make informed guesses.” Around 23 Indian youths have joined the terrorist organisation, of which six nationals have been killed, government officials told The New Indian Express, adding that the video was a “desperate attempt by the terror outfit” to lure Indian youths because several of them were leaving the group.
In the video, the Indian jihadists try to justify their allegiance to the Islamic State. They describe Hindus as “cow-worshippers” aiming to convert Muslims to their religion and responsible for Muslim deaths in numerous places. The footage also attacks Muslim leaders in India for associating with non-Muslim leaders – one clip shows the Congress party’s Mani Shankar Aiyer embracing a Hindu priest and Muslim cleric.