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Former MLA’s grandson held, niece suspected to have joined IS

Rahman's niece is believed to have been among the 13 residents of Kasaragod, Kerala, who left the country to join the IS in 2016.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
Updated: August 6, 2021 7:50:44 am
NIA officials carry out searches at residence of B M Basha, son of former MLA B M Idinabba, near Mangaluru. Searches were conducted on suspicion that the family has IS links. (PTI)

FOLLOWING NIA raids, the grandson of the late Congress MLA B M Idinabba was arrested from Ullal in Mangaluru on Wednesday. Ammar Abdul Rahman, 35, was picked up in connection with the case of a Kerala module of the Islamic State registered in March this year.

Rahman’s niece is believed to have been among the 13 residents of Kasaragod, Kerala, who left the country to join the IS in 2016. In a chargsesheet filed in January 2017, the NIA hinted that Ajmala and her husband Shifas K P left India via Bengaluru on May 24, 2016, and joined IS in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. Sources said Ajmala is believed to have been killed sometime in 2018. A total of 21 people left Kerala around the time to join the IS.

Idinabba died in 2009.

Apart from Rahman, the NIA arrested Bengaluru resident Madesha S P alias Ali Muaviya (22) and Kashmir’s Obaid Hamid and Muzammil Hassan Bhat Wednesday. The NIA is reportedly also investigating Rahman’s 33-year-old wife and mother of three.

They are alleged to have links with “IS sympathiser” Mohammed Ameen Yahya. A resident of Mallapuram, Kerala, Yahya was arrested on March 15, and is accused by the NIA of running IS propaganda channels on social media platforms such as Telegram, Hoop and Instagram, and of “propagating the violent Jihadi ideology of ISIS and radicalizing and recruiting new members”. The NIA said at the time that the module had been “successful in expanding the network in Kashmir and parts of Kerala and Karnataka”.

Following Yahya’s arrest, the NIA had held Muhab Anvar from Kollam and Dr Rahees Rashid, a dentist, from Kochi, as part of the probe into the IS Kerala module.

In the chargesheet filed in the 2016 Kasaragod case, the NIA had said after leaving India, the accused were “continuing their anti-national activities by propagating the ideology of and inviting support for ISIS, through various means including, but not limited to, internet-based social media platforms”.

Rahman’s arrest incidentally coincides with a plea filed in the Supreme Court by the father of one of those who went missing with Ajmala in 2016, Ayesha alias Sonia Sebastian. Sebastian Francis has sought extradition of his daughter and seven-year-old granddaughter from a prison in Afghanistan, where they are believed to be lodged, fearing their fate with the Taliban advancing in the country.

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