KOCHI: A Kasargod native has approached the Cyber Cell of city police with a complaint that a suspected member of Islamic State (IS) had attempted to brainwash him into joining the radical group by sending messages through WhatsApp.
Following this, the police have launched a probe to establish the source of the messages. The police have also taken steps to trace the number +1(509)871-0700, which they suspect to be a US-based satellite number. From this number, text messages, images and audio clips in Arabic were received by the youth, working in Kakkanad. The person who sent the messages introduced himself as Shami. Shami added the complainant to a group named Dawlathul Islam Dwah and started sending messages later on.
However, after seeing the flag of the IS in an image, the youth quit the group. Before doing so, he took screenshots as evidence to be handed over to the police. The complaint was lodged with Cyber Cell on Sunday. The youth told the police that the sender might have got his cellphone number from a Facebook page ‘Right Thinkers’ in which he was active.
However, the police officials are yet to confirm whether the messages were indeed sent as part of the IS’ attempts to recruit youth from Kerala. The preliminary investigation could not establish any direct link between the messages and the militant group. However senior cops said a detailed investigation was needed and they would seek the assistance of Central agencies.
“From the evidences received, we doubt whether it had originated from the terrorist organisation. Investigation is going on with the assistance of cyber experts,” M P Dinesh, City Police Commissioner, said.
The Cyber Cell will take up the matter with the Cyber Police Station in Thiruvananthapuram, the only police station in the State which has the authority to register FIRs in such cases.