In a first, India on Thursday deported an Australian national on “strong indications” that he was an Islamic State supporter.
The Indian Express has learnt that a Malay-origin Australian youth, identified as Ahmad Fahim Bin Hamad Awang holding passport N2149807, was detained for questioning on Thursday night after he landed at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on a flight from Perth.
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On receiving a tip-off, officers from a central agency questioned Awang and found jihadi literature, including Islamic State propaganda, on his laptop, sources said. Photographs of him posing with firearms were also found on the laptop, sources said.
“When he was questioned about the purpose of his visit to India, Awang said he had to attend a meeting in Delhi’s Nizamuddin area, but was evasive in his replies. He had managed to secure a valid visa. However, after scouring through the contents of his laptop, a call was taken that it was too dangerous to allow him to enter India, and he was sent back to Perth,” said a source.
The threat of lone wolf attacks by Islamic State supporters has been a matter of concern for security agencies in India, the source added.
Among the photos found by security agencies was one of a barechested Awang brandishing an assault rifle. Another showed him sitting with a pistol on his lap.
Awang’s deportation comes amid a nationwide crackdown on Islamic State supporters.
Fifteen youths have been held from various cities for allegedly forming a local Islamic State-affiliate, called the Junood-Al-Khilafa-e-Hind, and planning terror attacks.
On Tuesday, Adnan Hussain Mohammed Hussain alias Adnan Damudi, who allegedly headed a recruitment module for the outfit in Abu Dhabi, was handed over to India by the UAE. Two other alleged Islamic State supporters were also deported along with Damudi.
On December 10 last year, Mohammed Naseer, a 23-years-old software developer from Tamil Nadu, was deported from Sudan while attempting to reach Libya to join the Islamic State.
In September 2015, the UAE deported six youths from Kerala for allegedly sharing Islamic State propaganda through various social media platforms. The same month, Islamic State’s online headhunter Afsha Jabeen alias Nikki Joseph was deported by the UAE and arrested by Cyberabad police.