International

Western Intelligence scrambling for info on IS

Ever since the Islamic State burst into global stage in the summer of 2014, when it announced formal establishment of a caliphate, the western intelligence agencies have been scrambling for information on the group and its sympathisers.

Senior officials in the Indian security establishment say that they have been swamped with requests from western intelligence agencies on whatever information India can share on the IS, the deadliest and most global terror ideology in modern times that is giving sleepless nights to security establishments across the world.

“Because the group is far away from our countries, and operating in a secure area, we have very little credible real time information flowing in,” one official said.

However, the details available from Indian agencies of those who have been to IS and back is valuable. According to estimates, up to 20 Indians could still be with the IS. Various state polices have stopped at least 22 youngsters who were planning to travel to Syria-Iraq to join IS. And over 80 Indians have been monitored in the country for sharing and participating in discussions on IS.

The details Indian agencies have weaned from those Indians who have been with IS, or sympathetic with them “does give some kind of idea about the people they are dealing with, their handlers etc, and it is all valuable to us,” one senior official said.

“For the past year or so, the western intelligence agencies have put all their energy to deal with IS. We can sense the urgency and desperation our dealings,” one official said.

European and US intelligence agencies have been struggling to stop further flow of their residents into IS. According to a French senate report in April, of the over 3000 European IS members, 1430 are from France. A news report said that the French intelligence is monitoring another 1570 people, and a further 7000 are considered at risk of radicalisation.

A senior British military general recently told this reporter that their best hope is that the hundreds of British IS terrorists would die in the battlefield. If they return, it could further complicate the situation at home.

However, IS is not just a distant terror organisation for all countries. It is also the most deadly domestic terror threat faced by Europe in recent memory. And it has also been staging frequent lone wolf attacks in countries from Australia to Bangladesh. With no set patterns, lone wolf attacks, and an ideology that is attracting followers from all over the world in hordes, the IS is probably the deadliest terrorist organisation of modern world.






The Syrian crisis started in 2011 when groups took up arms against President Bashar al-Assad, as other countries in the region were in the throes of the Arab Spring. Here is where some of the main actors in the war stand.


Our code of editorial values

Related Topics
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Nov 29, 2021 9:24:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/western-intelligence-scrambling-for-info-on-islamic-state/article7876243.ece

Next Story