AN ABU Dhabi module of the Islamic State — comprising three Indian youths — recruited eight men from Tamil Nadu and one from Telangana, and even sent some of them to Syria to join the IS, a probe by the National Investigation Agency has revealed. The NIA registered a case a fortnight ago regarding the recruitment “of nine persons — eight hailing from Tamil Nadu and one from Telangana, and some other unknown persons, with the intention to further the activities of Daesh/ISIS, a banned terrorist organisation in India”.
According to NIA case records, a criminal conspiracy was hatched “in Chennai and other parts of the country by forming a terrorist gang which raised and received funds, organised camps, recruited and trained some persons, and facilitated their travel to Syria, to join ISIS”.
The Abu Dhabi module was busted in January 2016 following the arrest and deportation of the three Indians from the UAE: Adnan Hussain from Karnataka, Mohammed Farhan from Maharashtra and Sheikh Azhar Al Islam from Kashmir.
The records show they were accused by the NIA of being “involved in a conspiracy to identify, motivate, radicalise, recruit and train Indian citizens located both in India and other countries for planning and executing terrorist attacks in India and in other friendly countries”.
Adnan Hussain, 34, an accountant from Bhatkal town who had been working in the UAE since 2012, had emerged on the radar of police after he was found to have transferred funds to the account of Abdul Basith, a youth from Hyderabad who had been recruited to join the IS by Indian recruiters Sultan Armar and Shafi Armar.
Adnan Hussain, alias Adnan Damudi, transferred funds to an account linked to Basith to enable him to travel to Syria along with four others recruited from Hyderabad but the trip came to an abrupt end after the families of the youths got wind of their plan and sought help to bring them back.
The tracking of Damudi’s online and offline activities showed that he was influencing youths on radical Islam and was in touch with the Armar brothers from Bhatkal. Sultan Armar was reported by IS-linked websites to have been killed in Kobane in Syria in March 2015. His brother Shafi’s name has subsequently emerged in multiple investigations as the main online recruiter, motivator and plotter for IS activities in India. The brothers were originally part of the core group of the Indian Mujahideen terror outfit before breaking away and swearing allegiance to IS.
Adnan Damudi, while working in the UAE, was involved with Shafi Armar in managing two pro-IS media websites run by Al Isabah media and Ansar ul Tawheed, a breakaway group of the Indian Mujahideen, investigations have found. NIA investigations of the activities of Damudi and the two others of the Abu Dhabi module have revealed that several people had been recruited for IS activities in south India by the module with some also travelling to Syria.
An NIA investigation last year of a pan-India IS module called the Junood ul Khilafa fil Hind — created by Shafi Armar through online and offline recruitments — had revealed that Armar and a Hyderabad youth Mohammed Nafees Khan alias Fatima Khan alias Abu Zarrar alias Akram, 21, designated as a local IS leader, helped two men from Hyderabad travel to Syria in 2015. The two men — one from Muradnagar and the other from Golconda — went to Syria via Turkey and Singapore, respectively, the investigations found.