Sources claimed that Indian agencies are likely to share this information with their counterparts in some other countries.
New Delhi: Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), has instructed its militants operating in the Kashmir Valley to launch a drive to recruit local youth for terror outfit Islamic State (ISIS). Security agencies have cautioned both the Centre and the state government on what they described in a recent report as a “new trend,’’ which according to top intelligence sources for the first time establishes ISI’s links with ISIS as well.
“Pak militants involved in terror activities in the Valley have been specifically instructed to rope in youth for ISIS. These Kashmiri youth would be sent to terror training camps in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) from where ISI operatives would organise their further journey to areas where ISIS is active, including some parts of Afghanistan,’’ states a recent report submitted to multiple intelligence and security agencies.
These inputs, sources added, are based on human intelligence developed by security agencies following interrogation and intercepts of subversive elements active in Kashmir. “This new revelation is extremely significant since it not only clearly establishes a nexus between ISI and ISIS but shows how the Pak intelligence agency is also trying to help one of the most dreaded terror outfits globally,’’ a senior intelligence official said.
Sources claimed that Indian agencies are likely to share this information with their counterparts in some other countries, particularly United States, Afghanistan and some other Western countries, with whom they have close co-ordination on terror related issues and have been affected by ISIS activities.
Incidents of ISIS flags being waived in some parts of the Valley a few months ago, particularly after the killing of top Hizbul commander Burhan Wani last July, could also possibly be linked to this move which might well have been instigated by Pak terror operatives, sources claimed.
“This entire exercise to rope in Kashmiri youth for ISIS could possibly be part of a larger plan by ISI to go in for massive radicalisation of youth in the Valley, which in turn would also help the Pak agency’s plans to further promote militancy in the region. So this strategy helps ISI both ways,’’ the official added.
ISIS has been trying hard for some time now to radicalise Indian youth while effectively using the social media. However, the move has not been very effective beyond a point and the terror outfit is now desperate to make inroads in the Valley.
The intelligence report also states that ISI has been trying terror groups like Lashkar-e-Tayeeba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Hizbul Mujahideen which operate out of PoK to work in close co-ordination. Inputs also suggest that in a ``desperate attempt’’ to make its presence felt in the country ISIS could ask one of these terror groups to go in for a major strike, possibly in the Valley and then claim responsibility for it.
Central intelligence agencies along with the National Investigation Agency have been working overtime to contain ISIS’s influence in the country and are constantly monitoring the cyber space having considerably enhanced their technical expertese specially for this purpose. NIA and some other intelligence agencies have already constituted special units to track ISIS activities. The Home Ministry too has instructed all key agencies to keep a close tab on ISIS operations in the country and immediately subvert any move to radicalise and recruit local youth.
``This information as to how ISI and other Pak based terror groups are helping ISIS establish a base in the Valley has been shared with concerned security agencies. They have been sensitised for necessary follow-up action also,’’a security official added.