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PFI has close ties with hardline Turkish group that provides arms to Syrian jihadists: Officials

According to officials, the PFI has been maintaining close ties with a radical Turkish group accused of supplying arms to al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadists in Syria.

PFI has close ties with hardline Turkish group that provides arms to Syrian jihadists officials snt
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First Published Sep 29, 2022, 4:29 PM IST

The Popular Front of India (PFI) has been maintaining close ties with a radical Turkish group accused of supplying arms to al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadists in Syria, and even two top leaders of the just-banned outfit were hosted by the group, officials said on Thursday. 

The Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief, often known as IHH or Insan Hak ve Hurriyetleri ve Insani Yardim Vakfi, presents itself as a Turkish human rights organisation engaged in beneficial work for society.

Also read: Centre bans PFI for 5 years: Official Twitter account taken down 'in response to legal demand'

Investigators have discovered that the organisation suspected of transferring weapons to militants connected to al-Qaeda in Syria in January 2014 is a Turkish charity organisation.

IHH is purportedly linked to arming Libyan militias in leaked emails from Berat Albayrak, a former finance minister of Turkey and the son-in-law of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The IHH has been noted as a group that collaborates closely with the Turkish intelligence agency MIT.

According to a Nordic Monitor report, E M Abdul Rahiman and Professor P Koya, members of the PFI's national executive council, were privately hosted in Istanbul by the IHH.

Stockholm-based Nordic Monitor works as an intelligence platform that tracks extremism, radical movements, xenophobia, terrorism, crime and other relevant issues that are critical for the security of the communities. Its main focus is on Turkey. 

Erdogan is attempting to engage Muslims in Southeast Asia as a worldwide leader of the community, therefore the meeting between a charitable organisation tied to Turkish intelligence and jihadists and an Indian extremist outfit is significant.

Also read: Centre bans PFI: Congress, IUML welcomes decision; both want RSS also to be banned

Officials say the fact that PFI released a statement endorsing Erdogan following the failed coup attempt of 2016, which was reportedly a false flag orchestrated by Erdogan's intelligence and military chiefs to consolidate Islamist power in the government and start a purge of critics from government jobs, can be used to gauge the friendly relationship between Turkey and PFI.

PFI has close ties with hardline Turkish group that provides arms to Syrian jihadists officials snt

The Turkish government reciprocated by promoting PFI on the state-run Anadolu news agency as a civic and social group "whose members were abused by Indian police". 

Officials said the PFI appears to be a perfect match for the IHH as both organisations have been advocating for the jihadist ideology. 

The Muslim Brotherhood, which was established in 1928 in Egypt by Hasan Al-Banna to unite Muslims and ignore differences to achieve a 'greater goal' of gaining political power in Egypt before spreading to the rest of the Middle East, North Africa, and other regions of the world, and the PFI also share uncanny similarities.

Also read: Cannot support PFI ban; why are right-wing organisations not banned: Owaisi

The PFI in India, which strives to unite Muslims by ignoring differences and concentrating on the 'end goal', as they see it, has adopted this idea, according to officials. 
This is an assimilation strategy used by PFI thinkers and ideologues to infiltrate among moderate Muslims or Sufi followers in order to attract as many young people as possible.

The PFI works for the benefit of their own organisation and not for the 'Ummah'. Its end goal is to achieve political power by creating unrest amongst the masses. The PFI has also devised a shrewd strategy to gain the support of the Christians to grab power. To lure the Christians, they used the word "faith" rather than any Muslim word, officials said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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