IS recruit from Kalyan arrested after return to Mumbai
Areeb Majeed who joined IS, returned to Mumbai on Friday morning. HT had first reported that Areeb, who was earlier thought to be killed in an air strike, was alive and had called his father seeking help to return home. Read: Mumbai youth's return sparks hope in families of others who joined ISindia Updated: Nov 29, 2014 08:43 IST
Six months after he left his suburban Mumbai home to join Islamic State militants, 22-year-old Areeb Majeed returned from West Asia on Friday and was being questioned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), officials said.
Hindustan Times was the first to report that Areeb, earlier thought to have been killed in an air strike, was alive and had called his father, Dr Ijaz Majeed, seeking help to return from Turkey.
“I am yet to meet him or contact him. I will first offer Friday prayers and then plan how to meet my son,” Dr Majeed said.
Sources say Areeb landed at Mumbai international airport at 5:15am and was immediately taken into custody by NIA officials.
Areeb and three other young men – Fahad Shaikh, Saheem Tanki and Amaan Tandel —from Kalyan in Maharashtra’s Thane district went to Iraq in May to join the jihadi group, investigators said. How Areeb managed to escape and go to Turkey is still unknown.
According to police, the four engineering students – radicalised over the internet – flew to Baghdad as part of a group of 22 pilgrims visiting religious shrines in Iraq. But intelligence agencies later intercepted phone calls where the men were crying and asking their families to seek the government’s help for their return.
On August 26, Saheem called up Dr Majeed and told him that his son had become a “martyr”, and Pakistan-based terrorist group Anwar-ul-Tawhid declared Areeb’s martyrdom on its now-defunct website.
Maharashtra’s anti-terrorism squad (ATS), which earlier questioned the youngsters’ relatives, is also in touch with the NIA over Areeb’s return, sources said.
Intelligence and security officials have warned that the Islamic State is trying to indoctrinate and recruit young volunteers online from India – home to the world’s second-largest Muslim population.
However, national security adviser Ajit Doval said at this month's HT Leadership Summit that no more than 10 Indian Muslims had gone to join IS militants in Iraq and Syria.