NEW DELHI: Arrested Islamic State (IS) member Subahani Haja Moideen’s revelations on the workings of the terror group suggest that the terror outfit’s chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may not be alive.
Moideen was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) earlier in October in connection with a case related to activities of the banned IS group. Moideen hails from Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu.
Moideen told NIA interrogators that Baghdadi was never seen by any of the 500 recruits at the outfit’s training centre at Mosul in Iraq or during the jihadi attacks executed by the IS members.
Cadre numbering 500 were divided into three groups and none in the groups could ever catch a glimpse of Baghdadi.
Most of the 500 IS fighters engaged in jihad in Mosul were from Tajikistan, followed by Arab radicals. The third largest group was from east Asian countries.During his stay in Mosul, Moideen had befriended Abu Usman, a Pakistani national who was a member of Moideen’s group of IS fighters. Moideen was rechristened as Abu Jasmin. Abu Suleiman was the group leader of Umar Ibn Khatab Khatiba, who was in touch with Umar Ismail Mustafi who, in turn, was involved in the Paris attack and had hit a theatre in which 80 people were killed. Mustafi was liquidated by French security forces.
A group comprised only European jihadis and another group had only such fighters who could speak English as well as Arabic, claimed Moideen.According to Moideen’s account revealed to the NIA, the house in which he was kept in Mosul had a big swimming pool, gymnasium and park and the fighters were offered sex slaves.
Moideen was earlier paid $200 which was later cut to $100 per month. He told the NIA that he could roam around in a restricted area near the training centre and could even visit the market. During fights in June and July this year, Moideen said he commanded jihadi attacks in Mosul.
During questioning, Moideen claimed that two of his fellow agents were killed in shelling by security forces there and that he was very frightened and hence decided to return. When he told his group leader that he wanted to return, he was put behind bars in a Mosul jail. The NIA, however, is yet to ascertain the reason for Moideen’s return to India.