NEW DELHI: Islamic State (IS) deserter Arif Majeed began his jihad in the name of “the Caliphate” by cleaning toilets at the terror outfit’s headquarters in Raqqa, Syria, his interrogators have said.
Majeed, who is being interrogated by NIA sleuths, said he wasn’t asked to enter the battlefield but treated as a casual labourer. Majeed, a civil engineer by training, recounted his second job as a mason at a dam built on the Tigris in Mosul, Ninawa. He said the IS had captured the dam from Kurdish fighters on August 7.
Majeed was injured in an air strike on August 17 when the Kurdish fighters and the Iraqi Army launched a ground operation against the terrorists with the US Air Force’s support. Once back in Raqqa, Majeed requested IS leaders to allow him to fight on the
frontline and was given an AK-47. However, he was injured for a second time during training. He was humiliated by IS terrorists from Chechnya and other places who told him, “you are not physically fit to fight.”
Asked about his three other friends from Mumbai, who had joined the IS, Majeed is learnt to have said they were working in the outfit’s kitchens and also helped in washing utensils. He also gave the details of cities where his friends are deployed.
Majeed also gave the name of woman, Tahira Bhatt, who supposedly recruited him and his friends through Facebook. He said Tahira acted as a recruiter and navigator for his group till they reached Mosul.
On his request, IS leaders facilitated Majeed’s travel to Turkey for advance treatment.
Interrogators said Majeed had no regrets about joining the terrorist outfit. “I should have stayed back,” he reportedly told the sleuths.
The Centre said it was ready to give the US access to Majeed if it wanted to question him. Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs said Majeed had spent several months in the region and could provide graphic details of the IS activities in its strongholds.