Abdul Rashid Abdulla,wanted in connection with the Kerala Islamic State (IS) case, had tried to induce more people to join IS even after he left India, witnesses who were in touch with Rashid told investigating agencies.
After reaching ISIS camps, Rashid contacted his friends and classmates to talk about a course on Islam that he had attended in Sri Lanka. These people are now witnesses and their statements are part of the charge sheet filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as part of the case registered by the father of one of the 22 missing young people.
In his conversations with these witnesses, Rashid tried to coerce them to join ISIS said he could tell them how to get there.
One of Rashid’s close friends, whose identity has been kept a secret for security reasons, told the agency Rashid contacted him after he left India. “Rashid invited me to join him within two weeks. He told me that he would give me information about the route. However, I was uninterested and did not reply to him,” said the witness.
The charge sheet contains the statements of Rashid’s colleagues and staff of Peace Foundation as well as students who had participated in a course on Islam at Ad-dur Salaffiya in Sri Lanka. Sources said Rashid was in touch with 40 students, of which 18 were from India.
Rashid and other members were expelled from the course for propagating ISIS ideology among the students. A witness who knew that Rashid was in touch with some of the students, said Rashid invited one of his friends to join ISIS.
In his statement, he said one of the missing youth who had gone to Sri Lanka with Rashid had told him it was risky to go there and it was difficult to turn back.
One of Rashid’s colleagues said he had tried to induce the foundation’s staff and get them to join training sessions. The witness said Rashid used a browser to search for material that could not be traced by the agency. “I asked him how anyone could go to Syria. Rashid said that when people go to Turkey, IS recruits help them cross to Syria at the border,” he told the NIA.
Rashid, who worked as the head of the other cognitive areas department (OCA) of the Peace Foundation, Kozhikode, was in a key position to influence young people to join ISIS, said the NIA. The agency said he would lecture the youth on Jihad and ISIS ideologies. Members were also shown videos propagating ISIS ideology and violence, reads the charge sheet file by the NIA.