A latest post from a Twitter account believed to be operated by Fahad Shaikh, one of the four youths from Thane who were the first to join the Islamic State (IS) in May last year, claimed that he had a lucky escape after his car was hit by a Guided Bomb Unit (GBU) in Iraq’s Mosul.
“While at the open theater in mosul watching the IS new release ‘The rise of khilafah and return of gold dinar’ my car was hit by GBU,” read the tweet from account @spamci16, believed to be Fahad’s latest Twitter handle. The tweet on Sunday was referring to a propaganda video released by the group on Saturday, claiming it is now minting its own gold, silver and copper coins to harm the US economy and strengthen its self-proclaimed ‘Caliphate’.
Claiming that the GBU failed to explode, the next tweet from the account warned IS recruits to be wary of being targeted by MQ Reaper drones.
“Brothers and sisters 1) your car with mobile become a easy target for MQ Reapers, 2) spies in the ground 3) Recognizing (Do camouflage),” it said.
Fahad was earlier believed to be operating the account @magnetgas, which was suspended on 21 occasions, only to resurface with a serial number suffixed to the handle. He later shifted briefly to the handles @pneumatic11, @tungsten9 and @helium61, which were also suspended. Since then, he has used several variations of the handle @cihadci and @spamci, which have also been suspended.
On August 26, The Indian Express had reported that 17 Indians are now missing and reported by Indian and foreign intelligence services to be active with the Islamic State or rival organisations like the Jabhat al-Nusra.
In addition, up to a dozen Indian Mujahideen cadre are also believed to have joined the Islamic State, while the police have stopped at least 22 volunteers from leaving the country.
Early in August, the Ministry of Home Affairs had called a meeting of the Directors General of Police and Home Secretaries from 12 states to discuss cases of young Indians who, intelligence agencies suspect, have either joined the Islamic State or are headed to its strongholds.