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J&K DGP Hints at Intel Failure as Doubts Over ISIS, Al-Qaeda Presence in Valley Looms

The Ministry of Home Affairs had in January this year said that there was no presence of ISIS in the Valley and that Al-Qaeda had support of not more than 10 militants.

Aishwarya Kumar | News18.com@aishwaryak03

Updated:February 28, 2018, 11:21 AM IST
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J&K DGP Hints at Intel Failure as Doubts Over ISIS, Al-Qaeda Presence in Valley Looms
Other than the Zakura attack, ISIS on Monday claimed that it killed J&K police constable Farooq Ahmed Yatoo, who was posted as a guard at the residence of separatist leader Fazal Haq Qureshi. Yatoo (File Photo)
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New Delhi: Months after an ISIS flag was seen in Zakura, Jammu & Kashmir Director General of Police SP Vaid said that it was something that the intelligence agencies had missed and that they were now investigating ISIS’ presence in the valley on priority basis.

“There was something, a step, that we missed but we’re investigating everything now,” the DGP told News18.

Vaid further said that even as investigations are underway, they were sure that the terror outfit had no major significance on the ground. In November last year, three terrorists opened fire on a police team at Zakura crossing, killing one sub inspector and injuring a special officer. In retaliatory fire, one terrorist was killed whose body was wrapped in ISIS’ flag.

“It looks like a lone wolf type-attack without any significant work happening on the ground. We are investigating it on priority,” he said. He further confirmed that authorities and intelligence agencies had taken note of various social media posts and website allegedly run by ISIS.

“They look like people who are influenced by the ideology of the Islamic State. Beyond that, it’s too premature to say anything,” he added.

Other than the Zakura attack, ISIS on Monday claimed that it killed J&K police constable Farooq Ahmed Yatoo, who was posted as a guard at the residence of separatist leader Fazal Haq Qureshi. Yatoo was killed on Sunday and ISIS released a statement through its official news agency, Amaq, a day later.

Despite the terror outfit’s claims, investigations into Yatoo’s killing point to local militant Esha Fazali, part of Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen. Vaid confirmed that Fazali’s involvement and the extent of his reach was being probed too.

On Sunday, hours after Yatoo’s killing, Zakir Musa, head of Al-Qaeda’s Kashmir wing, Ghazwat-ul-Hind, released an audio on Telegram where he called for attacks on companies associated with Indian forces. “We must rise above hero worshipping, groups, Tandheems and states to unite for supremacy of Islam,” he said.

Vaid said that while Musa’s name was still chanted at gatherings and he was still a credible source of inspiration for the youth to be radicalised, the terrorist with his group did not pose a challenge for the forces. “We know what we’re dealing with here,” the DGP said, adding that the outfit hardly had manpower.

The Ministry of Home Affairs had in January this year said that there was no presence of ISIS in the Valley and that Al-Qaeda had support of not more than 10 militants. MoS Home Ministry Hansraj Ahir said that as per reports there was no presence of ISIS, but that the Ansar Gazwat ul-Hind (AGUH) which was formed and led by Zakir Musa has been active on social media.​
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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