Bhatkal, Aug 22, 2017 : Two months after the United States (US) declared him a global terrorist, the Islamic State has claimed that its operative Shafi Armar from Karnataka’s Bhatkal acted as a suicide bomber and killed several people in Syria’s Raqqa.
There is no confirmation from the Indian agencies about the death of Armar, who is considered a recruiter for the IS from India, though a US monitoring firm SITE Intelligent Group has reported about the IS claim.
According to the SITE, the IS propaganda arm ’Amaq’ said in a statement in Arabic on Monday that the IS killed and wounded a "number"of people, whom it described as "PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) apostates" in a suicide attack involving an Indian fighter Abu Yusuf al-Hindi.
Prior to his joining the IS and taking the name of al-Hindi, Shafi had used several aliases like Chhote Maula, Yousouf al-Hindi and Anjan Bhai to hoodwink agencies.
The US had declared him a specially designated global terrorist in June. The US State Department described Shafi as a "leader and head recruiter in India for the Foreign Terrorist Organisation (FTO) and Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) group, ISIS".
It said Shafi had "cultivated a group of dozens of IS sympathisers who are involved in terrorist activities across India, such as plotting attacks, procuring weapons, and identifying locations for terrorist training camps".
Earlier also, there were reports about the death of Shafi, who reached Syria through Gulf after fleeing India after he was on the run from the agencies for his alleged involvement in terror strikes. Shafi was allegedly part of the Indian Mujahideen and had fled to Pakistan first.
However, Shafi and his elder brother Sultan Abdul Kadir Armar, who were holed up in Pakistan, left the IM in protest against one of its leaders Iqbal Bhatkal’s activities and moved to Gulf before reaching Syria.
He took on the leadership role after his brother’s killing in 2015. The elder brother was one of the founding members of the IM and he had influenced Shafi to join the terror network.
Shafi, who is born in Bhatkal in 1987 and can speak Kannada, English, Urdu and Hindi, is believed to have recruited nearly three dozen Indian members for IS. He became the chief recruiter in India after his brother’s death.