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Al Qaeda ISIS

Recruits in South Asia

7 Sep, 2014

Islamist leaders and security officials say ISIS is recruiting in Pakistan, India and Kashmir including in territories considered Taliban and Al Qaeda strongholds. Ehsanullah Ehsan, the leader of Pakistani group Jamat-ul Ahrar and a prominent Taliban figure:

IS (Islamic State) is an Islamic Jihadi organisation working for the implementation of the Islamic system and creation of the Caliphate. We respect them. If they ask us for help, we will look into it and decide.

ISIS is considered more attractive to younger radicals in South Asia, who see the Taliban as ineffective. A Pakistani security official says ISIS have apparently conducted recruiting activities in a Peshawar neighbourhood, including distributing jihadist materials brought in from Afghanistan:

Pakistani security agencies are working on the Pakistan-Afghan border and have arrested a number of Taliban fighters and recovered CDs, maps, literature in Persian, Pashto and Dari. We will not permit them to work in our country and anyone who is involved in this will be crushed by the government.

An official in Kashmir says the group are taking advantage of anti-India sentiment to recruit local youth:

The majority of them have no religious bent of mind. Some of them, less than 1 percent, of course are religious and radicalised and end up joining militant ranks. They are influenced by al Qaeda, Taliban, Islamic State.