In a worrying development, spy agencies suspect that an ISIS terrorist of Indian nationality has died in the Philippines.
It is believed that he died while fighting for control over the city of Marawi, and officials are currently trying to verify information they have recently received.
'There are inputs that one person by the name of Mushtaq, who left India to join the terror group was part of the ISIS group which carried out the assault on the Filipino city and we are in the process of verifying the input,' a senior intelligence officer told Mail Today.
"Smoke rises after aerial bombings by Philippine Air Force planes on Islamist militant positions in Marawi on the southern island of Mindanao on June 14"
Marawi, on the southern island of Mindanao in the Philippines, has been under siege for weeks, following an invasion by Islamic militants loyal to Abu Sayyaf commander Isnilon Hapilon in May.
The government forces there have launched an attack on the city.
But the battle to eradicate hundreds of ISIS-affiliated militants from the local areas has so far failed to make much headway in resolving the conflict.
"A soldier taking a look at enemy positions, while they try to clear the city of armed militants"
If confirmed, this would be the first instance of an Indian fighting for the ISIS in South East Asia, which is fast emerging as an attraction for the Islamic terrorists across the region.
However, the number of Indians who have gone to join ISIS in west Asia is negligible, considering that Muslims share more than 20 per cent of the 1.25-billion population of India, the official said.
However, he said that spy agencies are worried about isolated youths, who are radicalised over the internet and tend to become 'lone wolves' for targeting security forces or people from other faiths to wage a religious war as per their indoctrination.
"Smoke billows from the city centre after an air attack by Philippine government troops"
"Filipino soldiers clearing a city street of militants in Marawi city, southern Philippines. Filipino officials announced on Friday that foreign fighters were among the Islamist militants killed in Marawi city during gun battles between ISIS-linked militants and security troops"
'We have our eyes on certain suspects, who are getting radicalised and may get into action in future. The numbers may also have increased due to online indoctrination,' the official said.
There was recently an encounter in Lucknow, where a self-radicalised terrorist, Saifullah, was eliminated by the UP anti-terrorist squad.
Saifullah and other suspects were linked to a home-grown, self-radicalised group, inspired by ISIS owing allegiance to its elusive leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
"Filipino soldiers clearing a city street of militants in Marawi city"
All the six suspects, arrested in UP and MP, were active on social media and were in regular touch with ISIS handlers and might have got together from different places to carry out attacks on Indian agencies after meeting online.
The official added that a number of terrorists, who have returned from the ISIS war zones in Iraq, Syria and Libya, have come back.
He added that the reality they encountered there was totally different from what they had imagined while leaving for that country from India.
"Spy agencies are checking whether an Indian ISIS fighter was among those killed"
"Filipino soldiers in Marawi city, southern Philippines"
'The kind of brutality that they came across and the racial discrimination that they had to face from the Arab fighters of the ISIS has been scary and they have been left disenchanted,' the official said.
The security agencies are keeping a strict vigil on the returnees but have also held deradicalisation camps to draw them from their fanatic mindset.
The case involving a group of four engineering graduates was one of the first reported cases about Indians joining the ISIS. However, a few of them have returned with the help of Indian authorities.