MUMBAI: Maharashtra Police suspect that two businessmen from Thane had incited four youths from Kalyan to join the Sunni militant group ISIS in Iraq.
The youths –Arif Majeed, Aman Tandel, Imran Tanki and Fahad Sheikh -- had gone missing since May when they had gone to the holy city of Karbala in Iraq on a pilgrimage. They are believed to have joined the ISIS.
An officer with the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) said the youths were regularly in touch with the two businessmen, who influenced them to take the extreme step. He also informed that Tanki had called his family from Iraq.
“We are probing how the youths got in touch with the radical elements and whether they were provided any monitory assistant,” he said. The ATS has found that all youths had left for Iraq on May 25 on an Etihad Airways flight. Their travel agents had paid in cash for their tickets.
“They went to Karbala first and then took a cab to Mosul. The travel agents had paid `60,000 per head. We are probing the travel agents at three levels,” a senior ATS officer said.
State Home Minister R R Patil said the government had sent a report to the Centre regarding the youths. “We are gathering more information on them,” he said.
Meanwhile, the police have raided the residences of the four youths and seized some letters and pen drives. A letter indicated that they have joined the militant outfit. Aarif’s father Ejaz Majeed has denied that his son has joined the ISIS. “He has gone on a pilgrimage and will return soon,” he said.
Suspect in 2011 Blasts arrested
The ATS on Wednesday arrested Abdul Mateen Fakki, a suspect in the 2011 triple bomb blast case, from Goa. “He is suspected to have provided money to Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal through hawala network to facilitate the blasts at Zaveri Bazaar, Opera House and Dadar in July 2011,” said ATS chief Himanshu Roy. As many as 26 people were killed in the incident.