The National investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday formally arrested a 31-year-old man who had allegedly travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight for the Islamic State (IS).
Subahani Haja Moideen, hailing from Idukki district in Kerala and living in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu, has been arrested for joining and supporting the activities of an organization proscribed under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967. He was reportedly arrested in Kochi after the NIA discovered that he was planning attacks on sitting judges and international tourists in Kerala.
Moideen reportedly told the NIA that there are many Indians in Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria, including people from Kerala who are involved with the IS. He said that while some are fighting on the frontlines, others are involved in community work.
He revealed that people who join the IS are given accommodation and provided with money for living expenses in IS cities. There is a Hind camp maintained for the care of Indians who have joined the IS, an NIA official told TNIE.
Moideen also revealed that he had gone to Iraq in April 2015, telling his family that he was going to perform Umrah. The NIA said that Moideen had been radicalised through social media.
According to an NIA statement, Moideen went to Istanbul from Chennai and then crossed over the border along with others from Pakistan and Afghanistan to reach IS-held territory in Iraq. He also went through a detailed course in the Sharia followed by combat training.
After his training, Moideen was sent to the war zone in Mosul for security duties. The IS used to pay him $100 per month as subsistence allowance, the statement said.
However, after he saw two of his friends being burnt to death in an explosion, he decided to quit but was jailed in Mosul. He underwent torture in the jail and was also produced before an IS judge, after which he was sent to Raqqa in Syria.
The NIA said that Subahani could name only a few other Indians there, as he was being trained at the battlefront and was later in jail. He reportedly told the NIA that quitting the IS is very difficult, as deserters are killed or have their limbs amputated. Those who inform their superiors about their intention to quit, are also punished.
After his imprisonment, Moideen was reportedly allowed to leave ISIS-held territory. He returned to stay in Istanbul for two weeks and then approached the Indian Consulate and returned to India on a ticket bought with money sent by his family.
He returned to India on September 22, 2015 and got a job as a salesman in a jewellery store, but reportedly got back in touch with IS members over internet and was planning to collect explosives and chemicals from Sivakasi on their commands, the statement said.