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Missing IS backers active on social media: NIA

A probe by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has revealed details of the exit of 14 persons from Kerala and the adults among them suspected to have joined the Islamic State in Afghanistan.

The group, reported missing last year, includes infants and children.

Mohammed Sajid Kuthirummal (25), and Murshid Mohammed T.K.J. (24), both residents of Kasaragod, left India as early as 2015. While Sajid left on March 31, 2015 for Dubai from the Mumbai airport, Murshid flew to Abu Dhabi on November 10, 2015 on a Jet Airways flight.

The next batch exited the country between May 24 and July 5 to Dubai, Kuwait, Muscat and Abu Dhabi.

All of them then travelled to Iran before going off the radar. The NIA has said they could have crossed over to Afghanistan illegally, bypassing any border checkpoint.

An NIA charge sheet said, “The accused are with the IS and they are instigating others to join them.”

Well planned conspiracy

“It was a well thought out plan to leave India on different travel dates to avoid being caught. Their relatives said they had received messages from them [group members] that they had reached their final destination — the ‘Caliphate’ that the IS projects to establish,” said an NIA official.

Mainly comprising defectors from the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the Wilayat Khorasan of Islamic State in Afghanistan came into existence in 2015. “The mobile communication made by the absconding accused and over Internet-based social media platforms with their relatives, have been recovered during investigation and the same establish that Sajid and Murshid were staying at the same place in Afghanistan,” said a NIA charge sheet.

The details were mentioned in the charge sheet filed by the NIA against Abdul Rashid, a resident of Kasaragod district, and Yasmeen Mohammad Zahid (29), a resident of Delhi.

The NIA has said that Rashid was the mastermind of the entire episode and that he brainwashed Yasmeen to divorce her husband and fly to the IS-controlled territory.

Yasmeen was intercepted at the New Delhi airport on July 30, 2016 when she was trying to leave for Kabul along with her child. During interrogation, several details surfaced about the missing Kerala youth.

Traced to Nangarhar

“Preliminary investigation in the above cases revealed that the missing persons left India and joined the IS in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. The accused are continuing their anti-national activities by propagating the ideology of and inviting support for the IS, through various means including, but not limited to, Internet based social media platforms,” the NIA charge sheet said.

Rashid, a teacher, with his first wife, Sonia Sebastian, left India on May 31 from the Mumbai airport, the NIA said.

“The couple held secret classes in support of the IS and jihad, as propagated by it, during the last part of Ramzan, sometime in the month of July2015. Yasmeen also participated in these classes and subsequently developed an interest to perform hijra (migration) to the IS. Mr. Rashid took classes on Islamic studies at Al-Quma Arabic college in Colombo. He, along with like-minded associates, were prematurely expelled from the college, for advocating jihad,” the charge sheet said.

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Printable version | Apr 29, 2021 11:26:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Missing-IS-backers-active-on-social-media-NIA/article17206050.ece

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