Just three days before Al Qaeda announced launching of its Indian branch, security agencies have foiled the plans of four youngsters of Hyderabad from joining the Islamic State, a Sunni jihadist group that is controlling large swathes of Iraq and Syria.
The four youngsters, whose names the police withheld, were taken into custody in Kolkata on Sunday last, when they were allegedly planning to cross over to Bangladesh. Their plan was to reach Iraq and then join the fighters of Islamic State, police sources disclosed. The four youngsters were pursuing their engineering courses in Hyderabad and were attracted to the propaganda unleashed by the Islamic State on social media platforms inviting youth to join ‘jihad’ and its fighters in the conflict zones of Syria and Iraq.
Interestingly, the Hyderabad police did not register any cases against these youngsters, but counselled them and their parents before releasing them. Officials, who did not want to the named, said they had not committed any crime in India and hence arresting them was not warranted. The youths went missing for over a week and that’s how sleuths began observing their online activity and tracked them to Kolkata.
Sources said the Islamic State had been hyperactive on social media platforms trying to attract people to join its forces. Those who respond the calls on social media were sent crypted messages and asked to visit other websites and then their itinerary is planned by their handlers.