The four men from Kalyan who went to Iraq allegedly to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS)-led jihad allegedly left their hotel room for Mosul in a great hurry on the morning of May 31.
Mohammed Saad, the caretaker of Ajmeri travels who helped the four of them get their tickets, told HT on Thursday that the four left for Mosul leaving behind all their luggage and carried only their passports with them.
The four — Arif Majeed, 22, an engineer, Aman Tandel, 27, Fahad Maqbool Sheikh, 24, both engineering students and Shaheen Tanki, 25, a call centre employee — called for a taxi and left their hotel in Karbala.
“All their belongings, which were packed in four bags, have come back from Iraq and they have been handed over to the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), Maharashtra,” he added.
Saad said that the four were referred to his agency by another agency — Rahat travels with whom they did business all the time.
He saw them for the first time when he met them at the airport on May 26. He said that they were aloof and did not speak too much.
“The details of the four which included photographs and photocopies of their passports were sent to us,” Saad said. “The money was paid to us by Rahat travels, so we are not aware of their mode of payment.”
According to Saad, their local tour operator in Iraq said that their behaviour did not arouse suspicion.
They read the Koran a lot and performed their namaz.
He first heard about the four of them going missing only on May 31.
Authorities in India were informed after their local guide alerted the police that they had not returned.