Kalyan recruits became IS fidayeen, says NIA

Using Ziyarat visas, the four recruits left for Iraq in 2014

Updated - May 23, 2016 06:57 pm IST

Published - May 21, 2015 01:27 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe into the alleged recruitment of four Kalyan youths by the Islamic State has revealed that prime accused Areeb Majeed and his three fugitive friends fought for the international terror outfit as “fidayeen [suicide bombers]” after they were trained in the handling of weapons and explosives.

The NIA on Wednesday filed the charge sheet before a Mumbai court against Areeb and his accomplices, Saheem Tanki, Fahad Shaikh and Aman Tandel, under various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Indian Penal Code.

The NIA traced their trail to Iraq and come up with details of their subsequent activities.

‘Areeb returned to wage jihad’

The NIA revealed that using Ziyarat (pilgrimage) visas, the friends left for Iraq on May 25, 2014, as part of a group. After reaching Baghdad, they parted ways and set out for Mosul. Midway, they also raised funds through their contacts to meet their expenses.

During interrogation, Areeb Majeed purportedly disclosed that in the first week of June last year, he along with the other three reached Mosul and from there they were taken to Jazira. During this period, Mosul city was captured by the IS.

According to the NIA, the then Aameer of Iraq and Syria, Abu Muhammed Iraqi, took the accused to an IS membership registration centre in Syria.

After joining the outfit, the four accused were re-christened as Abu Ali Al Hindi, Abu Uthman Al Hindi, Abu Bakr Al Hindi and Abu Umar Al Hindi. They then underwent training in the use of arms, explosives and battlefield tactics, following which they were inducted as suicide bombers.

Subsequently, Areeb Majeed participated in several battles against the Syrian and Iraqi forces. He sustained bullet injuries on two occasions and was once seriously hurt in a U.S.-led air bombing. He underwent treatment at two hospitals in Iraq between August and October last year.

Areeb Majeed purportedly told the NIA that after he was seriously injured last October, he decided to return “for spreading jihad in India.”

Radicalised on the Internet, Areeb Majeed allegedly disclosed that while in India, about two years ago he came in contact with the IS sympathisers and members through social networking websites. In desperation, he contacted people from various countries, including Australia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the United States, all of whom asked him to first reach Turkey. Two of his main contacts have been identified.

The NIA charge sheet alleges that in Syria, the accused found out from other IS members that outfit was also keen on recruiting non-resident Indians to participate in the “jihad”, not only in Iraq and Syria but also in India and other countries.

The agency has alleged that Areeb had been operating multiple Twitter accounts and was in touch with IS members/sympathisers through mobile-based chat applications.

Areeb also disclosed that his co-accused Fahad Shaikh ran a pro-ISIS Twitter account, through which a call had been given for a “car bomb” attack during US President Barack Obama’s visit to India in January. The same person, through another Twitter account, had targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the first one was suspended.

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