The crime branch has formed a special investigating team (SIT) to probe a case against a member of the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and three others accused of radicalising people to join terror outfit Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS). The team will look at the involvement of the IRF, while the role of IRF’s head and Islamic scholar Zakir Naik could come under the scanner at a later stage.
The SIT will first try to trace the two accused — Abdul Rashid Abdulla, a teacher, and Haneef, a maulana — who played a key role in the radicalisation module in Mumbai and Kerala. The agency is checking if the two accused are hiding in the country or have fled. An officer of the city police said they just took over the case and they would start looking for the accused at their homes and question their relatives and friends.
The SIT will also seek the custody of the other accused — Arshid Qureshi of Navi Mumbai, a guest coordinator of the IRF; and Kalyan resident Rizwan Khan, who was linked to the IRF.
The Kerala police and the state ATS arrested Qureshi from Navi Mumbai on July 21, and Khan from Kerala the next day for radicalising a couple from Kerala and recruiting them with the ISIS. The two are currently in the custody of the Kerala police.
The initial statement of the complainant, Abdul Majid Kader, 60, whose elder son Ashfaque is suspected to have joined the ISIS with his wife and one-year-old daughter in June, names the four accused.
The SIT will also look for more people who may have been radicalized or helped people join the ISIS.
While the police will question those who have been radicalised, those who assisted the process are likely to be booked.
The Mumbai crime branch is likely to seek papers and other evidence from the Kerala police to strengthen their case and to understand the link between the two cases.