PRESS Coverage

India Security Conclave, 2015 Organised by Crux Creative Solutions

Nov 25, 2015

Publisher: India Defence Research

Describing Islamic State as the latest security challenge, minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday said efforts by the jihadi outfit to recruit Indian youth were very much on. The statement comes even as intelligence inputs suggest that nearly 58 foreign fighters, including two Indians, have deserted the IS since January 2014.

“Latest challenge of ours is IS. Although we do not have that level of threat or presence as in Europe, but we have to acknowledge that efforts for recruitment (by IS) are on,” Rijiju told reporters on the sidelines of India Security Conclave organized by Cruz Creative Solutions to mark the seventh anniversary of 26/11 attacks.

Stating that Indian security forces were vigilant and successful in containing the IS threat, he said there was need to stop any attempt to radicalize the youth. “We have to concentrate on youth and work on de-radicalization, identify areas and institutes where such things can happen,” he said.

According to intelligence reports, nearly 150 Indians, mostly from southern states, are under surveillance of security agencies for actively following IS propaganda online and engaging with IS leaders and sympathizers on social media.

Twenty-three Indians have joined the IS so far, six of whom are reported killed. Another intelligence report said around 58 people of 18 nationalities may have quit IS over the past two years.

An intelligence official said given that IS is known to burn the passports of foreign fighters upon their arrival in Iraq/Syria, it may not be much of a surprise that desertions by non-Syrians were fewer. While around nine Saudis left IS since March 2014, four Tunisians and Indonesians each quit this year. Other countries accounting for one or two desertions were Australia, Belgium, Egypt, France, Germany, Iraq, Libya, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Turkey, Jordan and the UK.

The two Indians who quit IS are Kalyan youth Areeb Majid, who is now in custody here, and a 17-year-old girl deported from Qatar as she was headed to Iraq-Syria. The reasons for deserting the IS have been described as ill treatment and allegedly inferior status for South Asian fighters compared to the Arab fighters.