The state of being idle can push people to great lengths; sometimes they end up taking desperate decisions. Frustrated because of having been jobless for quite a while, former Mumbai-based journalist and blogger Zuber Ahmed Khan had submitted his CV to Iraq embassy and asked them to forward it to the Islamic State in August 2015. After seven months of job hunt and stress, the Anti-Terrorism Squad helped him to get a job as a salesman in Mumbai.
“I had no intentions of becoming a terrorist. I am a patriotic Muslim. I presumed perhaps Iraq will be divided into several regions and ISIS will rule one part of it. I thought they will have a legitimate government. I just felt that it would be a good job opportunity for me if I became their political spokesperson,” he told Mumbai Mirror.
A postgraduate in mass communication and public administration, the 48-year-old was reportedly working as a hospital administrator in a Mumbai nursing home. He came in touch with a Nationalist Congress Party leader and then worked as his private secretary for a few years. He lost his job in 2007 because of his “overtly religious behaviour.”
Reportedly, Khan got in touch with the terrorist outfit online via chat rooms and got tempted by their offer of paying salaries in gold coins. After the incident in 2015 when he was widely reported as the man wanting to join ISIS, it became increasingly difficult for him to get a job.
Eventually, ATS officers from Thane decided to help Khan and got him a job as a salesman in a Navi Mumbai showroom. “We wanted to ensure that he was totally deradicalised and given counselling. It was important that he gets absorbed into the mainstream and lead a normal life,” a senior ATS officer said.