Man arrested in Kochi for collecting explosives for Islamic State
Subhani Haja Moideen who returned from Islamic State-held Iraq last year after witnessing “unbearable” violence there, was arrested after found collecting money and explosives for a group of Indian sympathisers of the terrorist organisation.india Updated: Oct 07, 2016 07:40 IST
Subhani Haja Moideen, hailing from Idukki in Kerala, has not been able to resist the lure of jihad.
The 31-year-old, who returned from Islamic State-held Iraq last year after witnessing “unbearable” violence there, was found collecting money and explosives for a group of Indian sympathisers of the terrorist organisation which controls vast territories in Iraq and Syria.
On Wednesday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested him in Kochi, three days after it took seven of his associates into custody for planning a hit on Jamaat-e-Islami conference in Kochi last month and other terrorist actions, including killing prominent RSS leaders and rationalists in Kerala, and Jewish tourists in Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu.
Moideen is the second Indian after Mumbai youth, Areeb Majeed, to go to the IS-held territories, fight there and come back to India. Majeed also spent six months with the IS in 2014 but came back through Turkey and was arrested on his return.
According to investigators, Moideen was recruited by the IS after he was radicalised via internet. On the pretext of going on a religious journey, he left for Istanbul in April last year and crossed over to Iraq to join the IS.
There, he was asked to do a course in Islamic jurisprudence and later given combat training for two weeks, following which he was sent to Mosul to perform security duties at a salary of $100 per month.
A shell attack on Mosul last year, in which two of his friends were charred to death, left him shocked and wanting to leave. On being found out, he was tortured, imprisoned and produced before a person designated as judge by the terror outfit.
For reasons yet to be ascertained, Subhani was allowed to leave IS territory along with five other foreign fighters, the agency said.
Moideen crossed back to Istanbul, and after contacting his family and the Indian consulate, returned to India on September 22, 2015.
“After staying there (in Istanbul) illegally for two weeks, he got in touch with his family and Indian consulate. His family sent him air ticket and following a clearance from the Turkey police, the Indian consulate provided him an emergency document to travel back to India,” an NIA statement said.
He went to his ancestral place Tirunelveli and started a new life with his wife and even got a job as salesman in a jewellery shop, it said.
But soon, he got back to his old ways and touched base with his IS handlers, on whose commands he visited Chennai, Coimbatore and other places to meet local contacts and collect explosives, which led to his arrest, NIA investigators said.
A court has remanded Moideen into NIA’s custody for 14 days.
During interrogation, Moideen revealed that his handlers had asked him to get explosives and precursor chemicals from Sivakasi, a cracker manufacturing hub, they said, adding that he will be questioned further at its Kochi office.