NEW DELHI: Islamic State recruiter and Indian Oil Corporation assistant marketing manager, Mohammad Siraj ud Din had almost convinced two Maharashtra youth to join the terror outfit in Syria, top intelligence sources have said.
Siraj, who has been arrested by Rajasthan Police’s Anti-Terror Squad, radicalised vulnerable youth over the past few months using social media platforms where he used multiple identities to amplify the IS ideology and radical content. The Maharashtra youth are now being de-radicalised by security agencies.
“He is also suspected to have motivated two foreigners to join IS in Syria. We are examining the identity of those individuals,” sources said. Siraj, a mechanical engineer, started as a self-motivated IS inciter and propagandist but soon developed a bigger and deeper network on social media platforms.
Intelligence sources said he first came under the scanner when security agencies were looking into a case related to a Hyderabad-based girl who was allegedly radicalised. During her de-radicalisation, officials found Siraj as one of her contacts on social media and subsequently surveillance on his cyber activities was launched. Siraj, who belongs to an influential and well-educated family, was found to be highly radicalised and in security lexicon virtually ‘on the edge’. Sustained monitoring of Siraj’s activities revealed that in the last six months, he became part of IS’ core team for online propaganda and recruitment. From merely a preacher and propagandist, Siraj gradually transformed himself into a ‘global recruiter’. When asked about Siraj’s level of radicalisation, a Rajasthan ATS official told Express he was ‘likely a member’ of the IS.
Some of his social media accounts that have been examined by investigators reveal that Siraj was connected to at least 100 IS sympathisers across the globe, who were carrying out highly organised online propaganda for the terror outfit. “We have found his extremist online activity was spread across various social media platforms and newly launched apps which are used by close group members,” sources added.
■ Siraj was an IOCL assistant marketing manager
■ Belongs to influential and well-educated family
■ Thought to have motivated two Maharashtra youth to almost join IS