Four young men from Kerala who had been staying in the UAE were sent back to India Tuesday for allegedly sharing Islamic State (IS) propaganda. Intelligence agencies, meanwhile, have learnt that a man from Kerala, identified only as Riyaz, had been instrumental in getting the youths together and bringing them closer to IS.
Riyaz was helped by a Bangladesh national who is suspected to be dead.
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The four were freed after questioning, officials said.
Sources said there were 11 young men from Kerala who were part of the group. UAE authorities became suspicious of the group after monitoring their social media traffic. They began questioning them after Riyaz and the Bangladeshi national went missing.
After the first round of questioning, three Indians came back to Kerala. Three others were deported by UAE authorities later while four were deported in the early hours of Tuesday. Riyaz is said to be on the run.
Among the four sent back Tuesday, two are Hindus. Sources said all in the group were friends and had grown up in the UAE. “Some of the boys may not even be involved in propagating IS agenda but have been deported by UAE authorities as they all chatted among themselves over the Internet,” an officer said.
Once the four landed Tuesday, two were sent to Thiruvananthapuram while two others were questioned in Kozhikode.
Two youths from Kerala were deported from UAE earlier this month after authorities monitored their social media accounts and found them “radicalised and sympathetic” to the IS.