New Delhi: Islamic State members want Kashmir under its caliphate rather than Pakistan or jihadi groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba, underlining the outfit’s dismissive view of Pakistan and groups it controls as compromised outfits that do not conform to its extreme interpretation of religious law.
Web chats of IS members from different countries, including India, that are part of a chargesheet filed by the NIA against IndianOil assistant manager Mohammad Sirajuddinshow the group’s belief in Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s caliphate as the final arbiter of Kashmir’s fate. In one of the chats, Jundhulla Minaa, a UAE-based IS operative who Sirajuddin grew close to, claimed: “Kashmir is Kashmir IS… Kashmir will be Islamic State… Inshallah!!”
Sirajuddin felt that IS, if it chooses to launch a ‘Quest for caliphate’ in Kashmir, will have two battle fronts — the “Indian Kuffar (apostate) Army” and the “Pakistani Jehadi groups like Lashkare-Taiba, JeM and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen etc” as these outfits will never accept a merger with IS as “their foundation is based on nationalism and patriotism”.
The conflict, as IS members saw it, was between the territorialism of Pakistan and jihadis allied with it and a greater religio-political interpretation of nationhood based on identity and the prevalence of practices drawn from 7th century Arabia. The chargesheet also mentions that IS members celebrated the death of VHP neta Ashok Singhal on November 17, 2005. “While sharing the news of the death, Sirajuddin commented ‘Good News’…,” it says.
Expressing his ‘hate’ for India, Sirajuddin, arrested by NIA in December last year, even created a special currency note for the ‘IS regime in Kashmir’ — “a Rs 20 denomination note saying ‘IS Welcome in Kashmir'”.
These conversations were recovered from his phone by NIA and are part of the chargesheet filed last week, exclusively accessed by TOI. Apart from IS members from various countries, Sirajuddin was in touch with people associated with al-Qaida over various online platforms.
On a Telegram channel — HindBattle, created on October 5, 2015, which was later renamed Ghazwathul Hind and had 353 members — posts related to the funeral of terrorists killed in Kashmir hailing them as martyrs, photos of the IC-814 hijacking in 1999 and announcement of al-Qaida in the Sub-Continent (AQIS) were shared.
Sirajuddin was in touch with 6-7 women, including Ameena, a woman from Nairobi, whom he wanted to marry and travel with to Syria, a fact he told his wife. Ameena, amaid based in the UAE, even travelled to Hyderabad sometime in September 2015 but the reason for the visit was not clear. Other women he regularly interacted with on social networking sites included Philippines-based Karen Aisha Hamidon, who ran IS networking group “Islam Q&A”, an Indonesian girl, and few others from India.