The suspicion that a large section of Muslims, led by the Tablighi Jamaat, was deliberately spreading coronavirus seems to have some merit, with an ISIS message surfacing where the terrorist organisation has appealed to fellow religionists in India to infect kafirs (non-believers) deliberately. The online publication of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (or the Levant), Voice of Hind, has called upon its supporters to use the pandemic as an opportunity to attack non-Muslim Indians by carrying the coronavirus disease (COVID) to them.
Two editions of the English-language magazine Voice of Hind, issued during the lockdown in India, carry a 17-page “Lockdown Special” that appeal to Muslims to “kill Kuffars (sic)”.
The ISIS magazine features an image of a section of those who attended the Nizamuddin Markaz event and another of a riot in Delhi. Entitled “Believers, stand tall! It’s time for the Kuffar to fall”, the article carries tips on ways to “annihilate the disbelievers”.
“Keep yourselves armed at all times to never miss a chance to kill as many Kuffars (sic) as you can. Keep chains, ropes, and wires ready to choke them or beat them to death,” the ISIS magazine rants. It advises, “any sharp object like glass will kill easily”.
“Tools like scissors and hammers can come in useful to kill the Kuffar,” the magazine says.
“Spread Covid virus among as many Kuffar as possible to take them down easily and with less effort” is the last point the article makes.
The Lockdown Edition has named Maulana Saad and the Jamaat, appreciating them for being deliberate spreaders of the coronavirus. Appealing to Muslims to avenge the arrests of some Jamia Millia Islamia students in connection with the Delhi riots, the magazine asks them to be coronavirus carriers.
One may find in hindsight the explanation for attacks on policemen by non-Tablighi Muslims in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh in this magazine. It urges the believers to spread COVID among cops deployed to enforce the lockdown. “Treat COVID as a weapon against the disbelievers,” it reads.
Even doctors and nurses at the quarantine centres were not spared.
The Special Cell of Delhi Police had in January busted an ISIS terror module in Delhi, arresting three suspects. Indian detective agencies, which have launched a crackdown on the outfit in Kerala and Karnataka, believe that it operates through the mobile/desktop app Telegram and other social media platforms.
This piece of news has surfaced close on the heels of a United Nations report that warns India of “significant numbers” of Islamic State terrorists in Kerala and Karnataka. But the ISIS is not alone in this terror game. The report sheds light also on al Qaidah modules in India, which is estimated to command a membership of up to 200 terrorists in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
The UN report says, “One member state reported that the ISIL Indian affiliate (Hind Wilayah), which was announced on May 10, 2019, has between 180 and 200 members”. It said that there are “significant numbers of ISIL operatives in Kerala and Karnataka states.”