The Kerala-Nangarhar connection points to a larger number of IS members from India than the projected figure of 67. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

An international manhunt is under way by intelligence agencies of India, Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates for an Indian who is said to be a key recruiter for Islamic State in Afghanistan, the Indian Express reported.

The suspect Sajeer Mangalachari Abdullah of Kozhikode in Kerala allegedly instructed six youths, who were recently arrested, to kill Israeli tourists visiting Kodaikanal in neighboring Tamil Nadu state and also pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party leaders and judges for their “anti-Muslim” views or verdicts, the Express reported on Thursday.

As ISIS militants flee Mosul and Raqqa fearing the imminent fall of their remaining strongholds, terrorist recruiters in India have been instructed to send fresh recruits to Nangarhar in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, which is said to be a perfect hideout for them. There they are given do-it-yourself instructions on making bombs and staging attacks in India, the report said.

“Nangarhar is about as close as you can get to a black hole,” an Indian intelligence official told the Express. “It’s the perfect place to go if you want to disappear. Even Afghanistan’s intelligence services have next to no on-ground reach there.”

All the six youths arrested by the National Investigation Agency were well educated. Of them, Doha-based Manseed Bin Mohamed had strong political views that, like IS’s, sought direct action, the report said, quoting the NIA.

Earlier, Abdullah had sent 21 Kerala residents, including eight minors, to Nangarhar.

The Kerala-Nangarhar connection points to a larger number of IS members from India than the projected figure of 67.

ISIS interest in southern India became all the more evident with the arrest of Subhani Haja Moideen this month. He was charged with planning attacks against foreign tourists under the guidance of IS operative Muhammad Sultan Armar.

Armar’s group in Syria is said to include Indian Mujahedeen operatives Abu Rashid, Shahnawaz Ahmad and Mirza Shadab Beig, all fugitives.

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