The chief India recruiter for the Islamic State (IS) was killed in a US drone strike a few days ago, The Times of India quoted sources as saying. Mohammad Shafi Armar, a native of Bhatkal in Karnataka, and a key aide of the terror outfit's head Abu bakr al-Baghdadi, was looking to establish the IS in India.
According to the report, he is learnt to have recruited at least 30 men for the outfit. According to the 23 Islamic State recruits arrested by the National investigation Agency until now, he had planned to establish the outfit in every Indian state.
While the exact circumstances of his death is yet to be ascertained by intelligence agencies, it is now believed that the Indian branch of the IS is currently without a leader.
The report further said Shafi recently formed the Junud al Khalifa-e-Hind after dissolving the Ansar-ul-Tauhid (AuT). He had formed the AuT after developing differences with Bhatkal brothers-led Indian Mujahideen.
Lately, the IS has been been looking to spread its operations to India. In the latest issue of Dabiq, its international mouthpiece, IS said that Hindus in India and neighbouring Bangladesh must be targeted in mass numbers.
In December 2015, the outfit also targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, calling him a 'right-wing Hindu nationalist' who 'worships weapons' and is 'preparing his people for a future war against their number one enemy - Muslims'.
In July the same year, a PTI report claimed that the Islamic State was preparing to attack India to provoke an Armageddon-like confrontation with the US.