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Arrested IS recruit wanted to train his son for jihad

Mohammad Sirajuddin (30), a marketing manager with the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) arrested last December, for his alleged links to the Islamic State (IS) wanted to travel to Syria with his newborn son and train him to become a mujahid — a person engaged in jihad. A Filipino and a Kenyan woman had a deep influence on him.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is all set to file its first charge sheet in the > pan-Islamic State module it busted in December and January. Sirajuddin would be the first among the 25 arrested so far, against whom the agency will file its final report in June.

According to documents accessed by The Hindu, Sirajuddin was smitten by a woman, whom he thought was a Mauritian and wanted to travel to Syria with her. He was posted in Jaipur then. The woman, identified as Ameena, later turned out to be a housemaid from Kenya who was living in Hyderabad. She has since been deported.

Wife warned him

Sirajuddin’s wife, who was pregnant with their second child at the time, was staying in Bengaluru. She was aware of her husband’s activities and tried to dissuade him from veering towards the IS ideology.

The NIA has transcripts of messages Sirajuddin shared with his wife on WhatsApp. On one occasion, the wife tells him: “You will leave India even if I don’t come with you? Sirajuddin replied: “Yes, but I don’t want to compel you.”

“The wife was aware that Sirajuddin chatted for long hours with a woman. He wanted to marry the woman and she knew it was not impossible. Sirajuddin and Ameena were also part of a WhatsApp group run by a woman ring leader, Karen Aisha Hamidon, of the Philippines,” said an investigator.

Sirajuddin’s wife is a computer applications scientist and they were married in 2011.

“We have recorded Sirajuddin’s wife’s statements, and she told us that she discouraged him on many occasions. She, however, gave up when he decided to travel to Syria along with their newborn son. She reluctantly agreed to travel with him; else he would have married Ameena,” said the official.

Sirajuddin was first arrested by the Rajasthan Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) and the investigations were later handed over to the NIA.

Lured by fake post

Officials said that it was a Facebook message posted by Ameena that made a deep impression on Mr. Sirajuddin.

“Ameena who had arrived in Hyderabad to work as a housemaid posted a photograph of an actress wielding some weapons. Sirajuddin showed interest in the Facebook post and that is how they got in touch. She bluffed about her knowing everything about weapons used by IS fighters,” said a senior intelligence official in Delhi. Officials said they had sent a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) request to the U.S. and asked them to provide information about the e-mail account being used by Sirajuddin.


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Printable version | Jul 26, 2021 11:05:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Arrested-IS-recruit-wanted-to-train-his-son-for-jihad/article14335287.ece

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