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Hyderabad men's bayah shows close knowledge of IS group

After two failed attempts to travel to Syria and migrate to the Islamic State (IS) controlled Caliphate, Hyderabad resident Mohammad Ibrahim Yazdani’s quest to support the dreaded terrorist organisation from India led him to form a group with like-minded people–later named as Jund ul Khalifa al Hind Fl Bilad- and owe their allegiance to the self-proclaimed Caliph Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. The pledge or the bayah is a first step that formally places an individual or a group as a member of the IS wanting to carry acts of terrorism in its behalf

The National Investigating Agency has recovered the bayah made by Yazdani and others swearing loyalty to the leader of the terrorist organisation, signed and sent online to a handler claiming to be a member of the IS. The wording of the bayah made in Arabic as “we announce from South India that we pledge to an oath under AI Sheikh Abu Bakr lbrahim bin Al Hawwad Albadri AI Hussaini Al Hashmi AI Qurashi’,” an honorific reserved for the Islamic Caliph, shows the men had close knowledge on the workings and protocols of IS and were deeply indoctrinated with IS ideology, NIA officials said. According to Arabic custom followed by al Qaeda and IS, the bayah is made to the leader of the group and not in the name of the terrorist organisation.

The bayah uploaded by the Hyderabad men on is now a crucial part of evidence in the charge sheet filed by the NIA in the Hyderabad module case to indict the accused of conspiring to commit terrorist acts on behalf of the IS.

“As a first step to support the IS from lndia, the online handler guided Yazdani that first a bayah has to be taken in favor of the Caliph, which has to be signed and sent, and forwarded to the lS,” the charge-sheet reads. Yazdani gathered seven other men who shared the IS ideology of salafi jihadism and decided to stay in India and plan the terror attacks. “Some members of the group had the intention to target policemen and police station and had plotted the coordinates of the police stations in Hyderabad,” the charge-sheet states.

“If they had been successful in committing an attack, IS would have claimed responsibility for it on the basis of the bayah. The written bayah makes it easier for the IS to take credit for an attack and show that it has members supporting its cause in India,” the NIA investigating officer told dna on condition of anonymity as he is not authorized to talk to the media.

The IS makes it mandatory for its followers to swear allegiance, document the oath publicly and send it to its leaders, if they want to carry out acts of terror in its name.

In the 12th issue of the IS’s mouthpiece magazine Dabiq, titled ‘Just Terror’, prospective followers are advised to “record his will, renew his bay’ah [oath of allegiance], carry the Khilafah banner, and strike the crusaders and their pagan and apostate allies wherever he can find them, even if he is alone.”

Recently, the IS made the bayah given by Berlin Christmas market attacker Anis Amri public on its online communication channels after he was shot dead in Italy by policemen, taking responsibility for the attack. The IS only acknowledges the bayah following the death of an attacker or once an attack is successful. In the past the terrorist organization has accepted pledge from individuals made in the form of video and audio in the Orlando and San Bernardino shooting in the US, thus claiming credit for the attack, even when they were not members or directed to make the attack by the IS.