IS militant Areeb Majeed tough nut to crack

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Dec 02, 2014 21:32 IST

Two days after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) took custody of 22-year-old Areeb Majeed, the agency is finding it difficult to corroborate the claims made by the college student turned ISIS militant. Police sources said Majeed is a hard nut to crack.

With very little knowledge about the organisational structure of ISIS, NIA is finding it difficult to verify Areeb's answers to questions posed to him during interrogation, police sources said.

This is primarily because it is for the first time that an ISIS militant is in NIA's custody and it does not have any database to verify the claims made by Areeb about his stay in Iraq and his operational activities with ISIS.

This has made the NIA ponder if there is a need for Areeb being subjected to narco-analysis test at this juncture. "It is too early to decide about a narco-analysis test. Even if we want it, we would approach the court only after Areeb's current custody expires," said a senior IPS officer, requesting anonymity.

NIA which has done a detailed probe into Areeb's personal history has found that he belongs to a religious family which strictly adheres to the principles and disciplines of their religion. Like his family Areeb too was punctual in offering his prayers five times a day, and used to strictly ensure that he prays on time.

His radicalisation happened initially through local contacts, who later introduced him to closed internet groups which further indoctrinated him. Areeb's usage of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) to connect his handlers in Iraq is also being probed by NIA.

Meanwhile, anti-terror squad (ATS) has once again called for questioning a college principal and two teachers from Panvel. ATS had stumbled upon the group of teachers while investigating the radicalisation of four men from Kalyan through chat rooms.

Areeb, along with Aman Tandel, Fahad Maqbool Sheikh and Shaheen Tanki, had gone to Iraq to fight with ISIS in May 2014, and police officials believe that they had been indoctrinated by people known to them.

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