Today's Paper

Techie left note for wife before heading to join IS

Muhammed Ahad was deported by Turkish authorities from Syrian border

Muhammed Abdul Ahad had planned everything to the last detail. The last, most minute detail, in fact. His wife was instructed to open a particular document on his laptop only after November 30, 2014, that too only if there was no communication from him.

It was an instructive manual for her on how to respond to his disappearance, how to spend the rest of her life, and how to get their daughter married.

Over the past several months, Indian agencies have intercepted, arrested or questioned several dozen people that they suspect were on their way to the Syrian battlefield to join the Islamic State (IS). Each of them has given differing reasons and religious motivations for their plans. But some like the U.S.-educated computer professional, Ahad, continue to mystify investigators, though he has officially been given a clean chit. With the detailed instructions on his laptop, $3,000 and a gold biscuit, Ahad took his wife, five children and two of his acquaintances from the local mosque on a trip to Turkey on December 23, 2014. The ultimate destination it would seem was the Syrian battlefield.

The group spent 10 days in Istanbul, Ankara and Gaziantep, before they were intercepted by the Turkish authorities at the Syrian border. According to statements recorded by Ahad with Indian agencies, after the group was deported to India on January 30, 2015, he was planning to open an NGO in Syria to help victims of the conflict.

However, the detailed instructions for his wife, and his inability to give clear answers about where he was headed in Syria, have raised doubts about his ultimate plans. “It seemed as if he had a contact from Syria who was to pick him up at the border. But the contact did not turn up,” one official said.



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