Kerala Man Arrested in Delhi Over Alleged ISIS Ties Following Deportation From Afghanistan
Nashidul Hamzafar's arrest is being considered as a major breakthrough in the NIA 2016 case involving several Keralites who are thought to have left for Afghanistan to work for ISIS.
An Indian man, hailing from Kerala and deported from Afghanistan after getting caught there for entering illegally, was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) at New Delhi. He is suspected of intending to join his associates in the Islamic State terrorist group.
Nashidul Hamzafar, 26, returned to India from the United Arab Emirates, where he was working, in 2017. Shortly afterwards, on Oct. 3 last year, he left for Muscat, Oman, on a travel visa with his friend, and traveled to Iran. Hamzafar allegedly entered Afghanistan illegally without his friend, through an unguarded check point. His friend was pressurized to return to India after his family got to know about their intentions, an official was reported as saying by the Hindu.
“After he reached Kabul, he was on way to Nangarhar province in a taxi when he was intercepted by the authorities… since then he had been in detention,” the official was quoted as saying by the publication.
Hamzafar’s arrest is being considered as a major breakthrough in the NIA 2016 case involving several Keralites, including women and children, who are thought to have left for Afghanistan to work for ISIS. Humzafar was in touch with one of the accused Keralites named Shihas, who went to the same college as him and who joined ISIS, the Times of India reported.
“The case relates to the criminal conspiracy hatched by the accused persons from Kasaragod district of Kerala and their associates since Ramadan, 2015 with the intention of joining and furthering the objectives of ISIS/Daish. Pursuant to the conspiracy, 14 accused persons from Kasaragod district had left India or their work places in Middle – East between mid-May and early-July, 2016 before travelling to Afghanistan, where they joined ISIS/Daish,” the NIA statement said.
According to the statement, Humzafar was radicalized by ISIS members and communicated through encrypted social media platforms with the other absconding accused persons in this case like Abdul Rashid Abdulla and Ashfak Majeed, who were known to him through his college mates Shihas, Firoz Khan and Bestin Vincent.
A non-bailable arrest warrant was issued against Humzafar. His friend can also be presented as a major witness in the case. Humzafar was produced before the Special Court for NIA Cases, New Delhi, on Sept. 19. The Special NIA Court, Ernakulam, had earlier issued a non-bailable warrant against him.