ISIS case: Haneef received several calls from Kuwait and Dubai | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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ISIS case: Haneef received several calls from Kuwait and Dubai

mumbai Updated: Aug 24, 2016 17:32 IST
Mohammad Haneef outside a court in Mumbai.
Mohammad Haneef outside a court in Mumbai. (Arijit Sen/HT PHOTO)

The crime branch officials seized two mobile phones from Kerala based Salafi preacher Mohammad Haneef and learnt that Haneef received several phone calls from Kuwait and Dubai over a period of time.

Investigators said that the locations and timings of these calls are suspicious since they came before and after the 21 youths of Kerala went missing and Haneef was arrested for indoctrination of these youths, who are now feared to have joined terror outfit ISIS.

While the officials are still in the process of ascertaining the identity of all the callers, they are also probing if any of the missing youths was one of the callers from these locations.

Haneef was arrested after Abdul Majeed Kadar Khan, 60, father of one of the missing youths Ashfaque, registered a case alleging radicalization of his son with the Nagpada police.

The investigators said that some of the callers from the two countries in the Middle East, from where Haneef received phone calls, are his acquaintances and distant relatives, who are settled there. However, the crime branch officials are yet to ascertain their background and the discussions they had with Haneef.

One of the 21 youths and suspected ISIS recruits, Hafeezuddin, 23, was working in Dubai at his father’s shop. He got married a couple of months ago and he was also in touch with Ashfaque and Abdul Rasheed Abdulla, another youth from the group.

Sources added that another youth from the group, identified as Mohammad Sajid, 24, is also missing and his last location was Dubai.

Sajid and Hafeezuddin are likely to have joined the group after leaving Dubai, and crime branch officials suspect that they were in constant touch with Haneef.

“There are several aspects that will be probed only during the joint interrogation of Haneef, Arshid Qureshi, guest relation officer of preacher Zakir Naik’s non-profit Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and Rizwan Khan, another preacher. Their custody will be sought from Kerala police soon,” said a crime branch officer. Qureshi and Khan are in the custody of Kerala police.

The investigators also suspect that Haneef was not the only point man in Kerala and that there was another person who also received orders from ISIS handlers. Sources said that the person is yet to be identified.

A team of crime branch is already in Kerala and they are recording statements of the Peace International School in Kozhikode and the relatives and friends of Ashfaque and Haneef.

Next week, the Mumbai crime branch is likely to get custody of Qureshi and Khan arrested by Kerala police in a forceful conversion case.

Who is Zakir Naik?

TV evangelist Zakir Naik’s speeches are aired mainly on English TV channels and Peace TV, which he started in 2006

Naik, currently believed to be in west Asia, is accused of dodging police after allegations that his sermons influenced two terrorists involved in the Dhaka siege

His troubles were compounded by allegations that his speeches inspired 21 people who disappeared from Kerala and were feared to have joined the Islamic State terrorist outfit

His media adviser Aarif Malik defended the preacher, saying no government agency has sent any notice or summons to Naik