KOCHI: Here’s a shocker. Islamic State (IS) online propagandist and Philippines national Karen Aisha Hamidon, who was arrested by the Philippine Police recently, was in touch with Keralite youths arrested in the Kanakamala IS module case last year.
The NIA Headquarters in New Delhi, which has sent a letter rogatory to the Philippines Police, will quiz Karen regarding her connection with the youths arrested for forming IS module in Kerala.
According to a top NIA officer, during the interrogation of the youths arrested in the Umar Al Hindi Module case (RC-05/2016/NIA/Kochi), some had revealed Karen’s name.
“Karen was named in another case registered at the NIA Headquarters last year. Also, some of the accused in the Kerala module case had confessed to communicating with her through online media. Though we have requested access to her in connection with the case registered at the NIA Headquarters, we will also quiz her regarding the contacts she made across India,” the NIA officer said.
Karen had been actively propagating IS ideology through online for the past three years. The NIA officers believe Karen has radicalised more than 30 youths from across India. “She was active through social networks groups promoting IS ideology through Telegram and Whatsapp. She has been running online Q&A sessions for people motivated to join Islam and follow IS ideology. This made her a familiar figure among members of IS module in Kerala,” the officer said.
Born on September 26, 1981, Karen embraced Christianity and was working as an air hostess with a Dubai-based company. During her stay in the UAE, she was influenced by the radical ideology. After converting to Islam, she associated herself with Mahad Al Islamic mosque in Zamboanga city of Mindanao province in the Philippines.
The NIA is also probing another woman IS online handler, Umm Huraira Al Halabi. The NIA probe into the Umar Al Hindi Module revealed Umm Huraira had guided two members of the Kerala module to join IS. According to NIA, the 15th accused in the case Mohammad Kamal had online conversations with Umm Huraira. She later introduced Kamal to Subahani Haja Moideen who fought for IS in Iraq. Umm Huraira facilitated Subahani Haja Moideen’s travel out of Syria where he was jailed.
The identity and nationality of the woman IS member are yet to be confirmed.