An alleged recruiter for the Islamic State (IS) was Friday deported from Abu Dhabi and arrested by Hyderabad police at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Shamshabad. The woman, identified as 38-year-old Afsha Jabeen alias Nicole alias Nicky Joseph, allegedly recruited Hyderabad resident Salman Mohiuddin — arrested earlier this year — to the IS.
Nicky was deported late Thursday night along with her husband Devendra Batra alias Mustafa and three daughters.
Police said she lives in Hyderabad’s Tolichowki area. Home Ministry sources confirmed that she had been deported by the UAE as part of a campaign, wherein the country routinely deports individuals with links with the IS. Last week, two youths from Kerala were deported to India by the UAE for allegedly spreading IS propaganda on the internet.
Salman, 32, was arrested on January 16 just before he boarded a flight to Dubai. Police had alleged that Salman planned to subsequently reach Syria via Turkey to join the IS.
At the time, Salman had told officials that Nicky — who he initially claimed was a British national living in Dubai — had “influenced” him to join her in Dubai and subsequently go to Syria. But after sustained interrogation, it emerged that Nicky was, in fact, a resident of Hyderabad who was living in Dubai with her husband.
A graduate of Shadan College, Hyderabad, Nicky allegedly took an interest in IS activities and started recruiting people for the group.
On Friday, a police official confirmed she had been arrested. “She arrived from Dubai today morning and we have arrested her as a co-accused in the case involving Salman Mohiuddin,” the official said.
Officials said Salman met Nicky on Facebook around June last year when he was living in the US. “They created various social networking groups under fake names and started propaganda and attracting people who were interested in the IS,” an official said.
Officials added that Salman was arrested following a tip-off from US intelligence agencies, which had been monitoring his movements ever since he left the US for India in October 2014 after being denied a visa extension. Officials said US intelligence was keeping a tab on him after discovering that he frequented the websites of IS and other jihadi groups. “He had also left messages on IS websites and on the social media pages of jihadi groups in Syria,” an official said.
Son of a garments trader, Ahmad Mohiuddin, Salman is a resident of Bazaar Ghat under Habeebnagar Police Station in Hyderabad. He completed his B.Tech in 2008 from Anwarul-Uloom College of Engineering and Technology at Vikarabad on the outskirts of the city. In 2011, he went to the US and joined the Texas Southern University for a Master of Science degree in Transportation Planning and Management. After completing studies, Salman worked mostly as a sales executive at several places in Houston, including a car rental firm and a pharmaceutical company.
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