Kerala police have come across a money trail behind the migration of youths from Kannur to fight for the Islamic State in Syria.
Police sources said the money was handed over to the recruited persons by K O P Thasleem, a native of Pappinissery in Kannur. “All those who either migrated to Syria or tried to sneak into that country from Kannur have got financial assistance to the tune of $400 each. They were paid through Popular Front of India activist Thasleem, who channelled the funds from the Gulf through a hawala route. Thasleem has been in Sharjah for the last six months and we now suspect he has moved to Syria,’’ a police source said.
Sources said documents seized from the houses of the arrested persons substantiated the money transactions. “We are yet to look into the sources who have channelled the money from the Gulf through Thasleem. The amount handed over to the recruited persons was meant only to meet their travel and other expenses. We have not come across any evidence to suggest that money was paid to lure youths to join the IS,’’ the source said.
Two weeks back, police in Kannur had arrested six persons who had earlier tried to go to Syria but were deported by security agencies. Based on the input received from the arrested persons, police said five others from Kannur were still fighting in Syria, while five others had been killed since 2015.