In a shocking incident, ten people from Kannur, Kerala have left the country to allegedly join the Islamic terrorist organisation Islamic State (IS) in Afghanistan, reported Mathrubhumi. Two families from Azhikode and Poothappara and a man from Kuruva had fled the country on November 20 to allegedly join the terrorist ranks in either Syria or Afghanistan.
The people are identified as K Sajjad from Poothappara, his wife Shahina, their two kids and Anwar, his wife Afseela and their three children. TP Nisam of City Kuruva is also have joined their family. The police had started an investigation after the group of persons went missing and found they had IS links.
Reportedly, the police suspect that these 10 people have reached UAE and went missing from there. According to the Kerala police, they may have gone to Afghanistan, as IS centres in Syria have been destroyed. On November 20, they had left Kerala on the pretext of going to Mysuru and did not return, leading to a police investigation.
Interestingly, two people out of the ten people who have joined the IS were former members of the extremist Islamist organisation, Popular Front of India (PFI). Police said that K Sajjad and Anwar Poothappara had links with the radical Islamic outfit in the past.
However, PFI has claimed that Anwar had severed the ties with the organization around eight years ago when he left the country to settle in the Gulf while Sajjad was ousted from the organization three years ago over ‘financial irregularities’. Another person. Nisam was a frequent visitor to a Salafi mosque in Kannur. The police said that Nisam had raised serious questions on certain religious issues of the Salafi preachers present in the Kannur mosques, who have given controversial inciting speeches in the past.
It is being reported that Anwar is the co-brother of Muhammad Shameer T K, the PFI division head of Pappinassery, who is believed to be killed in Syria along with his two children Salman and Safwan. The Kerala police suspect that Shameer, who left for Syria in 2015 has motivated these families to join the Islamic terrorist group IS.
The districts of Kannur and Kasargod in Kerala have claimed notoriety in recent years for being the hotbed of ISIS recruitment and radicalisation activities.