IS recruiter’s grip on Hyderabad youth

Abdul Khadir Sultan Armar, whose death in Syria is yet to be confirmed, tried to spread terror outfit’s ideology among youngsters through social media

By Author  |  Published: 24th Mar 2019  12:50 am
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Hyderabad: The 38-year-old most-wanted terrorist, Abdul Khadir Sultan Armar, who ‘died’ in a strike at Baghuz in Syria, maintained terror links with several youths in Hyderabad.

Armar, who was IS’ Indian recruiter, was involved in three terror cases — the 2013 Dilsukhnagar twin blasts, the 2008 Gokul Chat and the Lumbini Park bomb blast case. His name goes with several aliases — Sultan, Shekhu, Shekh-ul-Hadis, Maulla, Pandit and Pujari.

From Haji Manzil of Nawayat Colony in Bhatkal, Karnataka, Armar, after much persuasion by his brother, joined the terror network. He was fluent in English, Kannada, Urdu and Hindi. As Indian intelligence agencies were searching for him for his alleged involvement in several terror attacks in the country, he fled to Syria through the Gulf. Armar first went to Pakistan in 2005 before going to Syria.

He was also a part of the Indian Mujahideen (IM), which was neutralised by the Intelligence agencies. Fugitive terrorist Riyaz Bhatkal was the key person of IM. From Syria, Armar started maintaining contacts with youth groups on Facebook and Telegram. He used to persuade them to join IS, officials said.

One of the groups headed by Abdullah Basith of Chandrayangutta was in contact with Armar. Influenced by Armar and other handlers based in Syria, Basith allegedly made efforts to propagate the ideology of IS in India. He was involved in identifying, motivating and radicalising gullible youth to join him in terror conspiracies.

Qhadeer from Chandrayanagutta came under the influence of Basith because of their common intention to propagate the ideology of IS in India for which he actively started meeting other gang members, National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials said. Basith’s sister Sana and other members were also attracted to the ideology.

A few weeks ago, NIA filed a supplementary charge-sheet against Basith and Qhadeer in a special court for NIA cases in Delhi in connection with the Abu Dhabi IS module case. Basith and his associates tried to visit Syria twice, but the police foiled their attempts by detaining them. The NIA officials said: “We are verifying the information related to the death of Armar. We have not received any confirmation so far.”

According to officials, Armar returned to India in 2006 to attend the ceremony of his son Abdullah and stayed for over two months before leaving for Muscat. He was in touch with the family for a year, but later stopped contacting them. The family could not give present address, photograph and passport details of Armar to the investigating agencies.