Shafi Armar, who recruited men for the Islamic State from India, has been reportedly killed in a US-led airstrike in Syria. Indian Intelligence officials said that they have information about the same.
Armar hailed from Bhatkal in Karnataka and is known to have recruited many Indians, mostly from the south, for the barbaric terror organization.
It was upon the arrest of 14 Indians by the NIA that the depth of Armar’s network was gauged. All 14 had links with 26-year-old Shafi.
Apart from the 14, Shafi recruited men from other parts of India as well such as Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir, and Madhya Pradesh.
Along with his brother Sultan Armar, Shafi co-founded Ansar-ut-Tawhid (AuT).
Intelligence officials suspect him of being in touch with more than 500 individuals over social media trying to recruit youngsters and arranging for their travel to Syria.
Sultan (39) was killed in an airstrike in March 2015 following which Shafi took over AuT as the Emir. In fact Shafi, who is also known as Yusuf, was declared the Emir of AuT by IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi himself.
The AuT started functioning as an extended arm of the Islamic State. It was also learnt that Shafi had started a new group called Janood Al Khalifa Hind, which had plans to carry out terror strikes in India.
Intelligence officials believe that Shafi wanted to take the place of Indian Mujahideen, of which he was once a member, as the new terror leader in India.
Both Armar brothers were recruited by the Riyaz Bhatkal of IM in 2008. It was the 2013 arrest of Yasin Bhatkal, brother of Riyaz, which revealed the Armar brothers’ ties to the IS.