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Namrata Biji Ahuja
Namrata Biji Ahuja


How this former IS operative roamed free in India for a year

islamic-state061016-reuters Representative image | Reuters
  • After returning from Iraq, Moideen was staying with his wife in Tirunelveli and he even managed to get a job as a salesman in a jewellery shop.

South India is turning to be a hotbed for Islamic State activities with the National Investigation Agency arresting another suspected terror operative from Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu on charges of joining and supporting the proscribed global terror organisation.  Subahani Haja Moideen(31), hails from Thodupuzha in Idukki district of Kerala, has allegedly been trained in the heart of IS territory in Mosul in Iraq.

Moideen's arrest comes days after the NIA busted a suspected IS module of six youngsters from Tamil Nadu and Kerala who were allegedly planning to carry out attacks at various places in the country and were collecting explosives to carry out their nefarious designs. Earlier, a group of 21 people from Kerala, including six women and three children, were reported to have travelled to Afghanistan in May-June this year.

Moideen's arrest gains significance as he was brought to India last year with the help of official channels. However, he again got in touch with IS operatives and was planning terror strikes in the country. He was summoned to the NIA branch office in Kochi after the agency conducted searches in  his house in Tirunelveli on October 3. Moideen is learnt to have confessed that he had gone to Iraq on April 8, 2015 to join the terror group. He had left his house without informing even his parents. 

Preliminary examination by the NIA reveals that Moideen was radicalised and recruited by the IS handlers who were active on social media platforms. Official sources in the investigation agency said that he left India for Istanbul from Chennai on a tourist visa and then crossed over along with others, including people from Pakistan and Afghanistan, to the IS-held territory in Iraq.

“He was taken to Mosul in Iraq, where he underwent detailed course in Shariya followed by combat training. On completion of the training, including the training in automated weapons, he was sent to the war zone in Mosul for security duties in IS-held territory,” said an NIA officer. The officer said Moideen had confessed that he performed the security duties for almost two weeks and that he was being paid USD 100 per month as subsistence allowance by the IS along with common available accommodation and food without any additional charges. 

The NIA said that Moideen could not withstand the violence and misery in Mosul and decided to leave the organisation. But when he conveyed his desire to leave the outfit, he was subjected to extreme torture . 

For the first time, the NIA sleuths said that they got a first-hand account of the misery of foreign fighters in the IS heartland. Moideen revealed to them that the deserting foreign fighters used to be produced before an IS judge and then incarcerated at Raqqa in Syria. Later, for unknown reasons, he was released and he returned to Turkey along with five other foreign nationals.

Moideen then stayed illegally in Istanbul for two weeks before he approached the Indian consulate for returning to India. He also contacted his family which sent him money to return. Moideen returned to Mumbai on September 22, 2015 after the Turkish police gave him a clearance certificate and the Indian consulate provided an emergency certificate.

Thereafter, Moideen was staying with his wife in their house in Tirunelveli and he even managed to get a job as a salesman in a jewellery shop in Kadayanallur. However, he again established contact with IS handlers on the internet, and was planning to collect explosives and precursor chemicals from Sivakasi at their instance. Moideen is alleged to have travelled to Chennai, Coimbatore and other places to meet his local contacts and collect money and explosives for terror acts that were guided and motivated by the IS handlers.

Moideen was produced before the special NIA court in Ernakulam on Thursday for seeking police custody and further interrogation, said NIA officials.

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Topics : #Islamic State | #NIA

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