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Thursday, Nov 21, 2019

Kerala man killed in drone strike on IS in Afghanistan

According to Kerala police and intelligence officials, the death of Muhasin was communicated to his family on July 23 from an Afghanistan phone number.

world Updated: Aug 01, 2019 08:54 IST
Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
According to Kerala police and intelligence officials, the death of Muhasin was communicated to his family on July 23 from an Afghanistan phone number.
According to Kerala police and intelligence officials, the death of Muhasin was communicated to his family on July 23 from an Afghanistan phone number.(PTI Photo)
         

US intelligence reports have confirmed the death of Kerala’s Muhammed Muhasin in an American drone strike in Nangarhar province in Afghanistan, but as many as 59 men, women and children from the southern state are still part of the so-called Khorasan wing of the Islamic State in Afghanistan. A resident of Edappal town in Malappuram district of Kerala, Muhasin was killed along with Pakistani IS commander, Huzaifa al-Bakistani, a key online recruiter for the Daesh (the Arabic acronym for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) in India, particularly Kashmir, on July 18.

According to Kerala police and intelligence officials, the death of Muhasin was communicated to his family on July 23 from an Afghanistan phone number. His death brings into focus again the Islamic radicalisation of young people in Kerala with most recruits having connections with West Asia, particularly Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Oman.

Also Read: US believes Osama bin Laden’s son Hamza is dead: Official

Data with the Home Ministry indicates that till June 15, as many as 98 persons, including 40 men, 21 women and 37 children, were part of IS in Afghanistan, and that of this number, 39 had died for the ultra-Islamist group. Of the 59 still under the IS umbrella are a large number of children who travelled with their families to Afghanistan via the West Asia route. These families are settled in the eastern Afghanistan provinces, which historically have been the ingress routes through Khyber and Bolan passes for South Asia conquests.

The Kannur district in Kerala leads in terms of the number of recruits for Khorasan IS with no less than 39 persons joining the group, of which 15 have been already killed in fighting. Kasargod, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Palakkad, Ernakulam and Thrissur districts follow Kannur in providing recruits to IS in Afghanistan. Already 10, 2, 9, and 3 persons from Kasaragod, Kozhikode, Malappuram and Palakkad have lost their lives in Afghanistan even as the uber radical group comprising IS remnants from Syria and Iraq are trying to expand their footprint towards Kabul.

Also Read: At least 34 killed as Afghan bus hits Taliban roadside bomb

According to the Home Ministry, the problem of radicalisation is severe in Kannur, where 48 persons tried to join IS via West Asia and Turkey.

Of this, two failed in their attempts, seven were deported from Turkey and 39 in all made to IS Khorasan after the IS in Syria and Levant were destroyed by the US forces.