The wife and four children of an alleged ISIS recruit from Hyderabad are stuck in Syria and wish to return to India. The man, who reportedly joined the ISIS terror network and was killed in an airstrike in 2018, had previously been a Tolichowki-based engineer. His family is now lodged at a refugee camp run by the United Nations in the war-torn country.
The man, 34, and his wife, 32, as well as their two children allegedly left for Syria in 2015 to become citizens of the country. The couple had two more children, who were born in Syria, but in 2018, the man was killed in an alleged airstrike.
The woman and her four children were rescued by the UN and are currently at a camp in Syria, according to a source close to the family. "Attempts are being made to bring her and the children back to India by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Indian consulate in Syria," the source, who did not wish to be named, said.
The man and woman, who are cousins, had been residing in Saudi Arabia for several years. In 2015, the woman and her two children were allegedly taken to Syria by her husband on the pretext of taking a vacation. They allegedly first travelled to Dubai, then Turkey and finally to Syria. "The woman did not have a clue that she and her two kids were being taken to Syria to join ISIS. Her husband sent an email to his brother informing them that he had moved the family to Syria and had joined ISIS," a source told TNM.
There had been no information about the family until a few months ago. The woman's family in Hyderabad had initially been told that the woman and her children had perished in the airstrike as well. "The woman managed to reach out to her family in Hyderabad with the help of the UN through a WhatsApp call. She confirmed that only her husband was killed. The NIA has advised the family not to talk to media," according to the source. "He lied about taking them on a family tour. This woman did not know until she landed there. We do not know which city she was in. She was cheated and trapped," the source said.
The Indian embassy is in the process of tracing the women and her four children. "There are a few other families from Hyderabad similarly stuck in Syria," the source added.