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International Sikh Youth Federation
Active region(s) India
Ideology Khalistan
Status Active (2008)
Organizations listed as terrorist groups by India
Northeastern India
National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM)
Naga National Council-Federal (NNCF)
National Council of Nagaland-Khaplang
United Liberation Front of Asom
People's Liberation Army
Kanglei Yawol Kanna Lup (KYKL)
Zomi Revolutionary Front
Al-Badr Mujahideen
Al Barq (ABQ)
Al Fateh Force (AFF)
Al Jihad Force (AJF)/Al Jihad
Al Mujahid Force (AMF)
Al Umar Mujahideen (AUR/Al Umar)
Awami Action Committee (AAC)
Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DEM)
Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HUM)
Ikhwan-ul-Musalmeen (IUM)
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM)
Jammat-ul-Mujahideen (JUM)
Jammat-ul-Mujahideen Almi (JUMA)
Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party (JKDFP)
Jammu and Kashmir Islamic Front (JKIF)
Jammu and Kashmir Jamaat-e-Islami (JKJEI)
Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET)
Kul Jammat Hurriyat Conference (KJHC)
Mahaz-e-Azadi (MEA)
Muslim Janbaaz Force (MJF/Jaanbaz Force)
Muslim Mujahideen (MM)
Hizbul Mujahideen
United Jihad Council
Students Islamic Movement of India Tehreek-e-Jihad (TEJ)
Pasban-e-Islami (PEI/Hizbul Momineen HMM)
Shora-e-Jihad (SEJ)
Tehreek-ul-Mujahideen (TUM)
North India
Babbar Khalsa
Bhindranwala Tigers Force of Khalistan
Communist Party of India (Maoist)
Dashmesh Regiment
International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF)
Kamagata Maru Dal of Khalistan
Khalistan Armed Force
Khalistan Liberation Force
Khalistan Commando Force
Khalistan Liberation Army
Khalistan Liberation Front
Khalistan Liberation Organisation
Khalistan National Army
Khalistan Guerilla Force
Khalistan Security Force
Khalistan Zindabad Force
Shaheed Khalsa Force
Central India
People's war group
Balbir militias
Ranvir Sena

The International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) is banned under the United Kingdom,[1][2][3] Indian,[2] Canadian[2][4] and US[5] terrorism legislations.[6]



In February 2001, the United Kingdom banned twenty-one groups, including the ISYF, under a new terrorism law.[1][3][7]

In 2002, the ISYF was banned in India.[2]

In June 2003, Canada banned the organization.[4][8]

The ISYF was added to the US Treasury Department terrorism list on June 27, 2002.[5] In April 2004, the United States added four organizations, including the ISYF, to its terror list, allowing the US to deny entry (and to deport) any of its members.[5][6]

The Vancouver Sun reported in February 2008 that Dabinderjit Singh was campaigning to have both the Babbar Khalsa and International Sikh Youth Federation delisted as terrorist organizations. The article went on to state that the Public Safety Minister had never been approached by anyone lobbying to delist the banned groups and said, "the decision to list organizations such as Babbar Khalsa, Babbar Khalsa International and the International Sikh Youth Federation as terrorist entities under the Criminal Code is intended to protect Canada and Canadians from terrorism".[9]

History and activities

In 1984, the All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) started the ISYF in the United Kingdom as an international branch.[4][8]

The 1985 bombing of Air India Flight 182 off Ireland, the deadliest aircraft terror attack until the September 11, 2001 attacks, and the attempted bombing of Air India Flight 301, were allegedly carried out by Sikh extremists. Inderjit Singh Reyat, a member of the ISYF, was found guilty of manslaughter for making the bombs, and is the only individual convicted in these attacks as of 9 Feb 2009. [10] [11] [12]

ISYF members have engaged in terrorist attacks, assassinations, and bombings against both Indian figures and moderate Sikhs opposing them.[8] The organization has also collaborated and associated with other Sikh terrorist organizations, including Babbar Khalsa,[4] the Khalistan Liberation Force,[8] and Khalistan Commando Force.[8]

Lord Bassam of Brighton, then Home Office minister, stated that ISYF members working from the UK had committed "assassinations, bombings and kidnappings" and were a "threat to national security."[10]


Pargat Singh founded the ISYF, under the patronage of Jasbir Singh Rode.[7]

Rode had arrived in the United Kingdom in August 1984 but, by December 1984, was expelled for publicly advocating violent methods in support of the Khalistan movement.[13] Rode returned to India, where he was imprisoned without trial until 1988.[13] Upon his release, he moderated, now advocating pursuing constitutional changes within India.[13] This created a riff in the UK branches roughly along north/south lines: the northern branches followed Rode's moderate stance while the southern branches instead followed Dr. Sohan Singh.[13]

Sikh Federation (UK)

The Sikh Federation (UK) was founded in September 2003, and is considered by some to be the UK successor of the International Sikh Youth Federation.[10][14] Andrew Gilligan, reporting for The London Evening Standard, stated that the Sikh Federation (UK) is the "successor" of the ISYF, and that its executive committee, objectives, and senior members... are largely the same.[10] [15]


There are allegations that the ISYF has long been supported by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence organization.[16][citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ a b Norton-Taylor, Richard (2001-03-01). "ISYF banned under new terror law". Guardian Unlimited.,4273,4144220,00.html. 
  2. ^ a b c d Shani, Giorgio (2007). Sikh Nationalism and Identity in a Global Age. Routledge. p. 82. ISBN 041542190X, ISBN 9780415421904.,M1. 
  3. ^ a b "Proscribed terrorist groups". UK Office for Security and Counter Terrorism. Retrieved 2009-05-24. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Currently listed entities". Government of Canada. 2009-04-06. 
  5. ^ a b c "What You Need To Know About U.S. Sanctions". U.S. Department of Treasury. Retrieved 2009-05-24. 
  6. ^ a b "Indian groups join US terror list". BBC News. 2004-04-30. 
  7. ^ a b Carol R. Ember, Melvin Ember, Ian A. Skoggard, Human Relations Area Files (2004). Encyclopedia of diasporas: immigrant and refugee cultures around the world. Springer. p. 1089. ISBN 0306483211, ISBN 9780306483219.,M1. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Hamilton, Dwight; Rimsa, Kostas (2007). Terror Threat: International and Homegrown Terrorists and Their Threat to Canada. Dundurn Press. p. 206–207. ISBN 1550027360, ISBN 9781550027365.,M1. 
  9. ^ Bolan, Kim (February 18, 2008). "Sikh leader solicits support". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2009-05-31. 
  10. ^ Bolan, Kim (February 9, 2008). "Air India bombmaker sent to holding centre". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 2009-05-31. 
  11. ^ "Convicted Air India bomb-builder Inderjit Singh Reyat gets bail". CBC News. July 9, 2008. Retrieved 2009-06-10. 
  12. ^ a b c d Lauterpacht, Elihu; Greenwood, C. J.; Oppenheimer, A. G. (1998). International Law Reports. Cambridge University Press. p. 395. ISBN 0521580706, ISBN 9780521580700.,M1. 
  13. ^ Gurharpal Singh and Darshan Singh Tatla (2006), Sikhs in Britain: The Making of a Community, Zed Books, ISBN 9781842777176
  14. ^ Gilligan, Andrew (21 April 2008). "Sikh civil servant who backs ‘martyr’ is now on TfL board". Evening Standard. Retrieved 2009-05-31. 
  15. ^ "International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF) South Asian Terrorism Portal article". The Institute for Conflict Management. undated. Retrieved 2009-05-31. 

External links



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