A Navi Mumbai man was detained by Delhi Police Thursday after he visited the Iraq embassy in the Capital and expressed his wish to travel to Iraq to join the Islamic State (IS).
The Indian Express had reported Friday that Zuber Ahmed Khan, who claimed that he was editor-in-chief of a newspaper, Journalist for International Peace, had put up social media posts, saying he planned to join IS. He had said he would visit the embassy to “submit my memorandum to Caliphate Bagdadi” with the “desire to join the IS as a spokesperson for foreign affairs or a government journalist”.
In one post, he had called Yakub Memon a martyr.
Police said the Embassy officials found the 40-year-old incoherent and made a PCR call. Khan did not have a Visa and could not have gone to Iraq anyway. A police team reached the embassy and apprehended him, after which he was questioned by Delhi Police Special Cell and intelligence agencies. “We will not be arresting Khan because there appears to be no case against him. We have detained him and are coordinating with Maharashtra police on his credentials. Once we match the details we get from them with what Khan has revealed, we will let him off,” an officer in the Special Cell said.
Police said Khan was in depression since he lost his job as an administrative officer in a Mumbai college around 7 years ago. He lives with his wife, a schoolteacher, and two children.
“He told us why he lost his job. We cannot reveal it till we verify the information with Maharashtra police. He claimed to be a journalist with a media house we could not recognise. While browsing the internet, he was influenced by IS exploits,” he said.
Khan’s former colleagues at the college said he seemed neither overtly religious nor holding extreme views during his time there. “A few years after he quit, I heard he’d become very religious,” a college staff said. He added that about three years back, policemen in plainclothes made discreet enquiries at the college about Khan. The principal and members of the trust, which runs the college, did not confirm this.
At a hospital in Mumbra where Khan worked for sometime as a Public Relations Officer, an employee said, “He would interfere with everyone’s work. During his six-month tenure, we fought four times. I had complained against him,” said an employee.