The National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested Subahani Haja Moideen (31), originally hailing from Thodupuzha in Kerala, for joining and supporting the activities of the ISIS, the global terrorist organisation proscribed under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. His arrest comes just a few days after an NIA raid resulted in the arrests of six youths from Northern Kerala, which included an employee of a right-wing Malayalam newspaper.
According to the NIA, Subahani Haja Moideen, who resided in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu, had gone to Iraq on 8 April 2015 to join ISIS and fight for the outfit. He had left home after telling his parents and wife that he was going to perform Umrah.
His house at Kadayanallur in Tirunelveli was searched on Monday and he was summoned to the NIA Branch Office, Kochi, for further examination. As per the preliminary examination, he was radicalised and recruited to ISIS by recruiters active over online social media platforms. He left India for Istanbul from Chennai on a visiting visa. "After reaching Istanbul, Moideen, along with others including people from Pakistan and Afghanistan, crossed over to ISIS 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 combat training including training in the automated weapons, he was sent to the war zone in Mosul for security duties in ISIS held territory, which he performed for almost two-weeks. He was paid USD 100 per month, as subsistence allowance by the ISIS, along with common available accommodation and food without any additional charges," NIA stated.
Going by the information provided by the NIA, he had revealed that he could not withstand the violence and war misery of Mosul and decided to leave the organisation. Two of his friends were charred alive before him in a shell attack. On conveying his decision to quit the outfit, he was imprisoned by ISIS at Mosul and was subjected to extreme torture. He along with other similar deserting foreign fighters, was produced before a judge of the ISIS, following which he was again incarcerated at Raqqa in Syria. Later, he was allowed to leave ISIS controlled territory and return to Turkey along with five other foreign nationals. Thereafter, he stayed illegally in Istanbul for about two weeks, before he approached the Indian Consulate for returning to India. He contacted his family and conveyed his decision to return to India, following which they sent him money for flight tickets. After Turkish Police issued a clearance certificate, he was issued an Emergency Certificate by Indian Consulate, over which he returned to India through Mumbai on September 22, 2015.
On his return to India, Subahani Haja went to his ancestral place in Kadaynallur, Tirunelveli, where he stayed with his wife. Later, he got a job as a salesman in a shop at Kadayanallur.
"However, he was planning to collect explosives and chemicals after getting in touch with ISIS again, travelling to various locations of Tamil Nadu to put the plan in motion," stated NIA.
Barely a week before, NIA had conducted raids and broken up a meeting of IS sympathisers in secluded Kanakamala region of Kannur district. They were collecting explosives and other offensive material for targeting public places and places of importance in South India.