Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's secretive paramilitary group SADAT, led by his former chief military aide Adnan Tanrıverdi, tapped Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, a Kashmiri-born convicted felon who served time in US federal prison, to pursue operations on US soil and mobilize resources against India, a Nordic Monitor investigation has revealed.
Fai's US-based organization, the Kashmiri American Council (KAC), an outfit that was funded by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), networked with SADAT's front organization, the Union of NGOs of the Islamic World (İslam Dünyası Sivil Toplum Kuruluşları Birliği, İDSB). KAC was officially listed as one of the İDSB's two member organizations in the US, and Fai was a member of the İDSB's council, the highest decision-making body of the organization.
A review of SADAT's past work shows that Fai frequently participated in events organized by SADAT and even met in person with Tanrıverdi, a retired military officer who still advises the Turkish president, albeit in an unofficial capacity after his resignation in January 2020.
On September 22, 2018 the İDSB organized a meeting in Cologne, Germany, inviting select participants from around the world including Fai. Tanrıverdi was one of the key speakers at the event, and he met with Fai to discuss joint projects and coordinate actions globally, especially on India.
SADAT has been functioning as a training and logistical hub for jihadists in Turkey, Syria, Libya and other countries. Its leader Tanrıverdi aims to transform Turkey's secular system into Shariah-based Islamist regime and dreams of setting up an Islamic army with the participation of Muslim countries. In December 2019 following a session of the International Islamic Union Congress organized by SADAT, Tanrıverdi said his organization had been working to pave the way for the mahdi's (prophesied savior and redeemer of Islam) arrival.
Although he gave up his official title, Tanrıverdi wields significant influence in the Erdoğan government and helps shape policies on military and security matters. He was the main architect of the mass purge of pro-NATO and pro-Western officers in the Turkish army, the second largest army in NATO in terms of manpower, in 2016 in the aftermath of a false flag coup attempt during which SADAT mobilized paramilitary forces to wreak havoc in the streets. Almost 80 percent of generals and admirals and nearly all staff officers in the Turkish military were dismissed and/or jailed and were were replaced by Islamists and neo-nationalists.
When Turkey and France clashed over differences in the eastern Mediterranean, Libya and Syria in 2020, with the firebrand Erdoğan accusing French President Emanuel Macron of waging war on Islam, SADAT mobilized its network around the world through the İDSB. Some 350 members in 66 countries including Fai's organization issued a declaration on September 11, 2020 slamming France and condemning what it described as rising hostility against Islam in the West. Fai, a frequent invitee and speaker at various events organized by SADAT, also participated in an online meeting held by the İDSB to condemn France and slam the West.
Fai was indicted in 2011 after the FBI showed he was connected to Pakistan's military and ISI and engaged in covert operations to influence US policy on India with respect to the disputed status of Kashmir. The FBI affidavit alleged that Fai's Kashmiri American Council is largely financed by Pakistan's spy agency ISI. "Mr. Fai is accused of a decades-long scheme with one purpose — to hide Pakistan's involvement behind his efforts to influence the U.S. government's position on Kashmir," Neil MacBride, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said at the time.
"His handlers in Pakistan allegedly funneled millions through the Kashmir Center to contribute to U.S. elected officials, fund high-profile conferences and pay for other efforts that promoted the Kashmiri cause to decision-makers in Washington," MacBride added. He pled guilt to conspiracy and tax evasion, was convicted and served time in prison before he was released in November 2013.
Interestingly enough, İDSB General Secretary Ali Kurt reached out to the Indian consulate in Istanbul and had a meeting with Consul General J.P. Singh on March 12, 2020. According to the readout from the İDSB's website about the meeting, Singh reportedly said: "İDSB is an important institution, it plays an important role in the Islamic world. I'm so glad I met you." It is not clear whether the Indian consul general knew the secret agenda harbored by the İDSB against India.
Abdullah Bozkurt, a Middle East Forum Writing Fellow, is a Swedish-based investigative journalist and analyst who runs the Nordic Research and Monitoring Network and is chairman of the Stockholm Center for Freedom.