Suspected Islamic State militant Saifullah who was killed in an encounter in Thakurganj in Lucknow was a devout member of the Kanpur-Lucknow unit of IS’s Khorasan module. After the encounter, a high alert has been sounded across the country. Earlier, there have been reports that the terror group has been trying to grow its base in India.

“The slain terror suspect belongs to the Khurasan module of the ISIS and was an active member. But, whether he has been indoctrinated or not is a matter of investigation,” IG ATS Aseem Arun said.

But what is the ISIS Khorasan module?

ISIS Khurasan module is a big fraction of Tehreek-e-Taliban of Pakistan (TTP) which operates in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The group was formed by senior Al-Qaeda operatives operating in ISIS-controlled Syria in 2012. The Khorasan module has been recruiting heavily in India and Pakistan.

ISIS Khorasan is lead by Mohammed Islambouli. Sanafi al-Nasr, Mushsin al-Fadhli, Abu Khayr al-Masri are next in command. Some of these are also said to have served under Osama Bin Laden.

According to the reports, a huge number of Pakistanis and Talibanis have joined ISIS and formed Khorasan Shura which means Khorasan Advisory. The group’s ideology is based upon Wahhabism.

The 21 men missing from Kerala since early 2016 are also believed to be a part of the ISIS Khurasan group.

Scholars suggest that Khorasan holds a historical connotation for ISIS followers who believe in the prophecy that before the world comes to an end, black flags will fly on the Khorasan (region).

Khorasan region falls in parts of Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.