In recent years, the Indian radical Islamist organization, the People’s Front of India (PFI), has built up a strong network in Turkey, Qatar, and some other countries in the Middle East, according to revelations in the Indian media. In late September 2022, Indian authorities carried out a countrywide crackdown, arresting more than 150 PFI leaders for their links with global terror organizations such as the Islamic State (ISIS) and Al-Qaeda, among others.
In Turkey, the PFI established its base with the help of Indian students. According to a media report, the PFI sent a student, Noushad, to Turkey ostensibly to pursue a PhD at Sabahattin Zaib University in Istanbul but really to establish a fundraising mechanism. But sending students was not the only way of establishing its links in Turkey. The PFI leaders were in close relationship with Turkish government leaders.
The Popular Front of India was established in 2006 with the merger of three Islamist groups in southern Indian states: the National Development Front (NDF) in Kerala, Manitha Neethi Pasarai (MNP) in Tamil Nadu, and the Karnataka Forum for Dignity (KFD) in Karnataka. A court in Kerala convicted 21 PFI members of organizing a terror training camp in 2013. A media report noted of a March 2020 attack in Kabul: “Kabul gurdwara [a Sikh house of worship] attacker Mohammed Muhsin, 29, was an active member of the radical Islamic outfit Popular Front of India (PFI).”