Kerala Youth Facing NIA Probe Confesses, Left India to Join IS

Nashidul Hamzafar from Kerala’s Wayanad was arrested by the National Investigation Agency earlier in September.

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Nashidul Hamzafar, a management student from Kerala’s Waynad, who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) earlier in September, reportedly confessed that he left the country to join terror outfit Islamic State (IS).

According to The Indian Express , the 26-year-old travelled from Kerala to Afghanistan to join the outfit after he was persuaded by 14 other youths from Kasargod and Palakkad districts of the state. The NIA is also investigating the case of these 14 youths who have joined the outfit.

The report says that Hamzafar, son of a Regional Transport Office agent, met them while he was pursuing higher studies in Bengaluru.

Deported From Afghanistan

The newspaper, quoting the investigation report, says that Hamzafar said that he left for Oman in 2017, and from there he proceeded to Iran in a bid to reach Afghanistan.

“They (the deportation authorities) got suspicious about my nationality. I was forcefully loaded onto a Pakistan deportation vehicle (as they thought) I was a Pakistani. I told one officer I am an Afghani and requested him to send me to Afghanistan. Accordingly, he sent me back to the Afghan camp,” Hamzafar’s IR (interrogation report) said, reported The Indian Express.

However, the Afghan authorities became suspicious and deported Hamzafar to India, after months of detention. The IR also stated that he almost landed in Pakistan, in his attempt to join the IS.

Hamzafar’s Inclination Began in Bengaluru

The IR also reportedly stated that Hamzafar’s religious inclination began with visits of Tablighi Jamaat, when he was pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Bengaluru between 2011- 2014. He had “transformed into fanaticism” by the end of the course.

It was also in college that he reportedly came in contact with several youth who later joined IS.

However, according to the newspaper report, Hamzafar was not interested in joining IS until May 2017, when he reportedly received an audio clip – ‘Message to Kerala’ – from a friend who had joined the terror group.

“After hearing the clips my objection to ISIS ideology became soft,” said Hamzafar, who was working at Bahrain at that point , the IR stated.

“I started listening to audios of Zakir Naik, Mufthi Maink, Noman Alikhan, Bilal Philip etc. I instructed my family members not to watch TV and not to lend money for interest. I also instructed my mother and sister to dress properly, to cover their body fully. When my father instructed me to cut my beard, I refused,” Hamzafar said, quoted The Indian Express.

He soon returned from Bahrain, to leave for Oman in October 2017. Almost a year later, he was deported back to India.

(With inputs from The Indian Express.)

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