Huzaifa al-Bakistani, Islamic State recruiter & liaison in Kashmir, killed in drone strike
Indian agencies believe that al-Bakistani was the social media recruiter for IS and also the mastermind of the outfit’s activities in J&K.
Huzaifa al-Bakistani, a key commander of the Islamic State in the Khorasan Province (ISJK) and a highly-trained Pakistani national, who was involved in radicalisation of Indian youth, was killed in a US drone strike in the Khogyani district of Nangarhar Province in eastern Afghanistan late on Friday night. Nine others were killed in the drone strike.
Indian agencies believe that al-Bakistani was the social media recruiter for IS and also the mastermind of the outfit’s activities in J&K. His name had even figured during the probe of the IS module in Kashmir and other parts of India.
Sources in the security establishment believe that al-Bakistani was instrumental in the formation of “Wilayah of Hind” in May this year. Sometime ago, IS had also claimed that it had established a new province in India. The announcement had come after a clash between two groups of terrorists and security forces in Kashmir.
As per the security agencies, al-Bakistani was a Pakistani national, who after completing his engineering degree, had joined the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and handled their media department before joining the IS. He was reportedly planning to establish the Islamic State in Jammu and Kashmir (ISJK) and was radicalising and encouraging Kashmiri youth to join the outfit.
Incidentally, Al-Bakistani was found to be working very closely with the Taliban and Haqqani network in Afghanistan against India and the interests of coalition Forces led by the United States.
Indian intelligence agencies began to track al-Bakistani’s handles, which were operating from various online platforms. He was in touch with at least three dozen youths from north India and had formed the groups through which jihadist propaganda was being spread. “We also have enough evidence about his proximity with ISI,” said a source in the Indian security establishment.
As his modus operandi, he recruited for the IS through many proxies servers, and after verifying the target’s loyalty and his inclination towards jihad, motivated them to carry out attacks.