UK, Pakistan, India, Canada, US, Western Europe
International Sikh Youth Federation was founded in the UK in 1984 by Jasbir Singh Rode and Amrik Singh. Jasbir Singh Rode arrived in the UK in August 1984 and was expelled in December 1984 for inciting violence in support of the Sikh independence movement.
The group is currently led by Lakhbir Singh Rode. Rode resides in Lahore, Pakistan. Prior to arriving in Pakistan, Rode lived in the United Arab Emirates, India, and Canada. Rode is responsible for coordinating the group’s terrorist activities at the highest organizational levels.
ISYF derives most of its funding in donations from the global Sikh diaspora and overseas Khalistan supporters. In 1984, ISYF launched a membership drive in Canada, charging a five dollar joining fee. Those who did not enroll were branded as traitors to the Khalistan movement, which drove many Sikhs to join.
The ISYF also established a human rights organization known as the Khalsa Human Rights Group. This group emerged as a powerful fundraising unit of pro-Khalistan terrorists located in foreign countries.
ISYF has been known to collaborate with other Sikh terrorist organizations, including Babbar Khalsa, the Khalistan Liberation Force, and the Khalistan Commando Force.
ISYF is also thought to receive funds, armaments, ammunition and military training from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence with the view to reviving terrorism in Punjab.
ISYF was founded in 1984 as the international branch of the All India Sikh Student’s Federation’s response to Operation Blue Star, a military operation intended to flush out Sikh terrorists from the Golden Triangle complex in the Indian Punjab. It has since expanded across Western Europe and into the U.S. and Canada. ISYF’s Canadian branch was disbanded in 2002 according to its spokesperson in Canada, Amrit Singh Raj.
ISYF was responsible for a number of low-intensity bombings, assassinations, and kidnappings, which targeted Hindus, moderate Sikhs, and Indian government officials. ISYF was also implicated in a range of failed bomb and firearm attacks. These attacks have diminished since 1992 as Indian security forces have either killed or captured many senior Sikh militants.
ISYF’s objective is to promote Sikh philosophy and secure an independent homeland for the Sikhs of India, known as Khalistan.
Bombings, kidnapping, and assassination.
Updated on January 7, 2015.
- “International Sikh Youth Federation.” South Asia Terrorism Portal. Last modified 2012. Accessed December 17, 2015. http://www.satp.org/satporgtp/countries/india/states/punjab/terrorist_outfits/ISYF.htm
- “Currently Listed Entities: International Sikh Youth Federation.” Public Safety Canada. Last modified November, 2014. Accessed December 17, 2015. http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/ntnl-scrt/cntr-trrrsm/lstd-ntts/crrnt-lstd-ntts-eng.aspx#2028
- “International Sikh Youth Federation.” Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium. Last modified 2015. Accessed December 17, 2015. http://www.trackingterrorism.org/group/international-sikh-youth-federation-isyf