The Home Ministry has banned the Al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) under the anti-terror law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA).
The Ministry issued a notification that the AQIS, an affiliate of the Al Qaeda and ISKP, the Afghanistan wing of the Islamic State are “terrorist organisations.” AQ and IS are already banned under the UAPA.
“The AQIS is a terrorist organisation, which has committed acts of terrorism in the neighbouring countries, has been promoting and encouraging terrorist acts on the Indian interests in the Indian sub-continent and has been attempting radicalisation and recruitment of youth from India,” the notification issued on June 19 said.
AQIS was created in August 2014 and is led by an Indian, Maulana Asim Umar, who was later identified as U.P. resident Sanaul Haq.
Three held in 2015
In 2015, the central intelligence agencies helped the Delhi police arrest three members of AQIS. Two of them — Mohammad Asif and Zafar Masood belong to Sambhal district in Western U.P. — and the third, Abdur Rehman, belongs to Odisha.
The notification said the ISKP “promotes and encourages terrorism in the Indian sub-continent and has been committing terrorist acts to consolidate its position by recruiting youth for ‘global jihad’ and to achieve the objective of establishing its own ‘caliphate’ by overthrowing democratically elected governments and considers India and the Indian interests as its targets and is engaged in radicalising and recruiting Indian youth for terrorist activities.”
Mainly comprising defectors from the Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP), the ISKP came into existence in 2015. Twenty- one men, women and children from Kerala are said to have travelled to Afghanistan in 2016 to live in the IS-controlled territory.
“The recruitment of youth from India and their radicalisation are a matter of serious concern for the national security and international peace,” the notification said.
The AQIS has been pushing several provocative messages on social media platforms. On several occasions, the Al Qaraar media, affiliated to the Islamic State has posted messages inviting former Hizbul Mujahideen commander Zakir Musa and now the head of AQIS-affiliated Ansar Ghazwat-ul Hind group to join them.