A 32-year-old Indian Muslim travelling to Kurdistan, Iraq, through New Delhi, was stopped and detained for questioning, after authorities at the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) received an anonymous call saying that he belongs to a terrorist organisation.
The passenger, identified as Mohammad Mukhtar Alam, was going to Irbil, the capital of Kurdistan autonomous region, after a vacation at his home state of Bihar.
A source in the Delhi Police Special Cell confirmed that Alam was let off after no evidence was found to establish his association with any terrorist outfit.
According to police sources, Alam was detained for interrogation after the airport received a call saying that he belongs to the Indian Mujahideen and is going to Iraq to attend a meeting. Sources said Alam was questioned jointly by two teams.
“A team of the Special Cell and another police team stationed at the airport questioned him for over four hours. All his documents and credentials were verified and checked thoroughly. We found nothing to suggest that he worked for or was associated with the terrorist organisation Indian Mujahideen. So he was let off,” a police source said.
“The airport often receives such calls and our job is to verify it if there is the slightest suspicion. Hence, we detained Alam and questioned him. But we let him off since nothing was found against him,” the source said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police MI Haidar said, “He was stopped after we received information saying that he belongs to a terrorist organisation. But after his credentials were verified, he was let off. No case has been registered.”
While Alam was detained for questioning, two of his Sikh colleagues from Irbil were allowed to proceed. Alam has been working for Irbil’s Amirco company as a crane operator. As he operates heavy machinery, he gets 28 days’ leave every six months which he spends in his native place, police said.
Police found that Alam has been working in Iraq since 2011 when ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) did not exist.
Moreover, police said he works in Kurdistan which is out-of-bounds for ISIS. In fact, Kurdistan is at war with ISIS and is part of the US-led campaign against ISIS.
Police said they were not aware if Alam had taken another flight to Irbil.