Missing Kerala youths have reached IS’s bastion in Afghanistan – NIA

Missing Kerala youths have reached IS’s bastion in Afghanistan – NIA

New Delhi: Twenty-two Keralites, including six women and three children, who were reported missing in June this year, have reached the bastion of ISIS terror operations in Afghanistan, officials said.

These people, who went missing from Kasargod and Palakkad districts of the state, had left the country from Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai airports for Kuwait, Dubai, Muscat or Abudhabi from where it is understood that they travelled to Afghanistan through Iran, they said.

The revelations were made by one Yasmin Mohd Zahid (29) who was arrested by NIA sleuths from the Indira Gandhi International Airport on August 1 while she was also trying to escape to Afghanistan, sources claimed.

Yasmin told interrogators that she had got married to Abdul Rashid (30) in May in a nikah-ceremony solemnised over phone in which co-accused Shihas acted as the ‘wali’ (guardian) of the bride, while other co-accused Ashfak and Yahya acted as witnesses.

She said subsequently Rashid used to send videos and messages in support of the ‘Caliphate’ and Abubacker Al Baghdadi to her using messaging app ‘Telegram’, they said.

Yasmin disclosed that Rashid and his first wife Ayisha were in touch with a British couple, who were converts to Islam and were spreading messages in support of the ISIS over ‘Telegram’, to which she had also subscribed as advised by Rashid.

Rashid also told Yasmin that in first week of July, he and other missing persons from Kerala, had reached the ‘Caliphate’ in Afghanistan.

She told the sleuths that Rashid had given the ATM card of his first wife Ayisha to her and transferred funds to the tune of Rs 1.5 lakh into the account in mid-July, which Yasmin used for her travel preparations to Afghanistan.

“She had purchased flight tickets, paid for the Afghanistan visa and also purchased $620 using the money,” the officials said.

NIA officials were also informed that the sister of another missing accused Dr Ijas recently got a message from him informing their family that he and his wife Refaela have been blessed with a baby girl on September 6.

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