Another Islamic State recruit from Kerala killed in Afghanistan | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Another Islamic State recruit from Kerala killed in Afghanistan

Marwan is the sixth of the 21 youngsters who allegedly joined the Islamic State last year to be killed in action. Another youth, Yahiya alias Beston, was eliminated in a similar attack a few weeks ago.

india Updated: Aug 01, 2017 12:32 IST
Ramesh Babu
The Islamic State’s fortunes have been on the downswing in recent times.
The Islamic State’s fortunes have been on the downswing in recent times. (REUTERS)

When 24-year-old NP Marwan left his North Kerala home to join the Islamic State last year, his folks did not know if they would ever see him again. They received a definitive answer on Monday, and it was not one they had been hoping for.

Kasargode resident KVP Ismail was informed through the Telegram app that his son, who had joined the ranks of Islamic State fighters last year, was killed in a US drone attack in Afghanistan. The message – which was later handed over to intelligence agencies – was purportedly sent from the account of Ashfaq Mohamed, another youngster who had gone missing from the state.

Marwan is the sixth of the 21 youngsters who allegedly joined the Islamic State last year to be killed in action. Another youth, Yahiya alias Beston, was eliminated in a similar attack a few weeks ago.

Upon leaving his Trikaripur residence in May 2016, Marwan – a graduate – told his family that he was headed to Mumbai in pursuit of higher education. They did not hear from him until three months later, when they came to know that he had married a foreigner someplace far away.

The disappearance of 21 people in 2016 had sent shockwaves through the country. While most of the self-declared jihadists hailed from respectable upper middle-class families, five – two men and three women – were recent converts to Islamism. Intelligence agencies later traced them to Nanghar province of Afghanistan, and reports suggested that they must have crossed into the warn-torn country through Iran.

Most of the missing people have been disowned by their relatives, who claim that their act of joining the terror organisation has disgraced their country and community. While a few initially tried to convince them into returning, they now claim to have lost all hope.

Kerala police eventually arrested two people – Arshid Qureshi and Rizwan Khan – from Mumbai on charges of luring them into the Islamic State and then sending them abroad. Qureshi, an associate of controversial preacher Zaka Naik, was accused of facilitating the disappearance of Kochi resident Merin alias Mariam. Her brother had filed a police complaint, stating that Qureshi had also attempted to convert him during a meeting at Mumbai last year.