‘Haneef was thrown out of his village in Kerala’

  • Manish K Pathak, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Aug 13, 2016 01:20 IST

Haneef, a maulavi accused of radicalizing one of the 21 missing youngsters who are suspected to have joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), was thrown out of his village in Kerala three years ago, after the villagers learned he was trying to radicalize people from the area, according to the crime branch.

Sources said Haneef has been missing since, but witnesses claimed he was seen with Ashfaque, one of the youngsters. The other accused in the case, Abdul Rashid Abdulla, too, is missing, and the police suspect his family may have crossed over to join the ISIS. Ashfaque’s brother told the police they received a message via an internet application stating, “Ashfaque is with the ISIS. His friends and Indians are caffir. He has invited his family to join the ISIS.” Sources said they were verifying the source of the message.

Two accused named by Ashfaque’s father -- Arshid Qureshi of Navi Mumbai, a guest coordinator with Zakir Naik’s IRF and Kalyan resident Rizwan Khan -- are in the custody of Kerala police. The crime branch is trying to gather information and they would also be requesting Kerala police and Maharashtra ATS to share intelligence with them.

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