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Kerala: Six-member family from Kasaragod on radar of security agencies after they illegally enter war-torn Yemen, suspected of joining ISIS

The police official said it was impossible to say with certainty that the individuals had traveled to the country because they were drawn to the ideology of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization

Kerala Police authorities have discovered that a young couple and their four children from Padna panchayat in the Kasaragod district of Kerala went into war-torn Yemen illegally. The family was living in Dubai for the past ten years, and they entered Yemen through Saudi Arabia.

Kerala police learned of the family’s departure to Yemen after the NIA conducted inquiries in the family’s village of Udinoor in the Padna panchayat on Tuesday, 20th December 2022. The missing family’s relatives were summoned by the police on Wednesday to the Chandera police station where they were required to file a missing report.

The police officer told the news agency PTI, “Any illegal movement of Indian citizens to the countries like Yemen is a matter to be reported (officially). The intention of the family which is suspected to have traveled to Yemen is not known.”

In response to a question, the police official said it was impossible to say with certainty that the individuals had travelled to the country because they were drawn to the ideology of the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization, which is highly active in places like Yemen. The officer added, “There could be religious reasons as well for their disappearance from the country. Some religious institutions in Yemen are the favourite destinations of extremely religious persons.”

The police officer said, “This family from Udinoor was living in Dubai for 10 years. That’s why we did not know when they went to Yemen.” The man who eloped to Yemen with his family is a regional manager and trainer of a leading business improvement and management consulting firm in Dubai.

The police officer further said, “The company has branches in Doha, Dubai, Kuwait, Bengaluru, and Kochi. He is with the Dubai branch and used to travel frequently to Gulf countries to train staff of his client companies.”

The officer did not disclose the nature of his wife’s employment, who hails from Thalassery in Kannur. Both the man and his wife are MBA graduates from Bengaluru. The couple took their four children to Yemen. The four children are aged three, five, six, and nine years old.

According to a close family friend of the missing persons, the family visited their hometown for a week in June due to the death of a close relative. “But he (the man) stopped communicating with his friends around four months ago,” the friend said. The family is in contact with their immediate relatives only through messaging apps and has communicated that they have gone to Yemen for studying Islam and Arabic. The family has also communicated to these close relatives that they will return after a year.

The security agencies are concerned because Yemen is a recruitment ground for many Islamist terror outfits and it is a continuously war-hit zone of the middle east. The state police had previously found that many people from Kerala had joined the IS over time. According to reports, two more youths from Vadakepuram in Padna panchayat have also entered Yemen from Oman and Saudi Arabia, where they previously worked. However, Kasaragod police said they were unaware of them.

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Searched termsKerala ISIS
OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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