- NIA has arrested Zuhad Hameed, an ISIS operative from Bengaluru.
- Hameed ran a forum called ‘Quran Circle’ and aiming at radicalising scores of Indian youth to join the Islamic State.
- NIA has played smart with the Islamists, and that is the reason that it has been able to prevent any misgiving within the country.
National Investigation Agency (NIA), the premier anti-terrorism task force of India, has arrested Zuhad Hameed, an ISIS operative from Bengaluru. Hameed ran a forum called ‘Quran Circle’ and aiming at radicalising scores of Indian youth to join the Islamic State. In September last year, NIA registered a case against Muhammad Tauqir Mahmood, Zuhab Hameed, Irfan Nasir and Mohd Shihab for radicalising Indian youth for having an affiliation with terrorist group ISIS and sending Indian youth to Syria via Turkey.
“Investigation conducted by NIA has revealed that accused arrested today Zuhaib Manna and earlier arrested accused Mohd Tauqir were the key conspirators who in association with other co-accused persons had raised funds, radicalized gullible Muslim youth through Quran Circle group and recruited them and illegally sent them to Syria via Turkey to join ISIS,” said NIA.
More than 600 people from India went missing between 2012 and 2017. Most of these people were either from Karnataka or northern Kerala, who went to join ISIS. People like Zuhad Hameed played a critical role in expanding the role of ISIS in India and they exponentially expanded their ‘talent pool’ with recruits.
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The NIA had uncovered some unnerving facts in its preliminary probe, which revealed some threatening and disturbing situations. The probe confirmed that a total 648 people have gone missing, which includes 297 women. The scariest fact was that the investigators have subsequently failed to trace their whereabouts, but with many women as well as men wanting to return to India, the location of these recruits and people involved in recruitment is being revealed. The probe suggests that a good number of missing persons have joined ISIS to participate in jihad, and the majority of them, especially men, died subsequently.
Recently it was reported that four Kerala women who travelled to Nangarhar in Afghanistan in the years 2016-18 want to return to India. Their husbands were killed in different attacks in Afghanistan. They are now widows and have been lodged in Afghanistan’s prisons since November-December 2019. Back then, Ahmad Zia Saraj, the head of Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security had said that the Afghan government was in talks with 13 countries (including India) to deport the prisoners.
This, apart from the fact that the women themselves are seeking a return to India, melted many liberal hearts. Poor little wives of slain ISIS terrorists wanting to return to India, after leaving the country to wage jihad against it cannot be all that bad, right? The Modi government, however, did not seem to agree.
Also read: Four women from Kerala who joined the ISIS wanted to return to India but the Centre has sent them a clear message
The four women have been identified as Ayisha (Sonia Sebastian), Raffaela, Mariyam (Merrin Jacob), and Fathima Isa (Nimisha). The four women, three of who are converts, do not seem to be remorseful for their actions – which only adds to the government’s determination to let these women be where they are. There is no surety that these women, once back in India, will not try some IS-styled attack against ‘kaafirs‘.
Instead of bringing the Islamists to India, the Modi government utilized information from them to crackdown over the Islamists in the country. And that is bearing fruits with the arrest of this mastermind recruiter in Bengaluru. NIA has played smart with the Islamists, and that is the reason that it has been able to prevent any misgiving within the country.