KOCHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) probing the alleged ISIS link of the persons who went missing from the State in recent months suspect that they migrated using funds received from foreign sources.
While interrogating Bihar-native Yasmin Ahmed, the only accused who has been arrested so far, the NIA got details of a UK-based couple who frequently sent online messages to some of the accused. The missing persons - 13 men, six women and three children - are suspected to have joined the Afghanistan wing of the ISIS. The suspects left India in different batches between mid-May and the first week of July through the Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai airports. First, they travelled to Kuwait, Dubai, Muscat and Abu Dhabi, before moving to Afghanistan via Iran.
“A substantial amount is required to have the visas and travel documents for so many persons processed, and we suspect it was done using foreign funds. We have inspected details of their bank transactions, and the source of fund is currently under investigation,” said an NIA official.
It was found that the UK-based couple had regularly communicated with first accused and Kasargod-native Abdul Rashid. While the whereabouts of the duo is yet to be confirmed, the NIA has initiated steps to identify them. It was found that the converted Muslim couple used to send messages regularly in support of the ISIS, through the Telegram channel, to Abdul Rashid and his first wife Ayesha. “Being the leader of the group, it was Rashid who arranged funds for their exit from India. He had handed over Ayesha’s ATM card to Yasmin, and `1.5 lakh was sent in mid-July for travelling to Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the remaining amount was converted into dollars,” said the official.
Yasmin was intercepted by a police team at the New Delhi airport while she was proceeding to board an Afghanistan-bound flight. The NIA took Yasmin into custody, and interrogated her for three days.
Marriage solemnised over phone
Yasmin Ahmed confessed to the NIA that she got married to Kasargod-native Abdul Rashid through a ceremony that was solemnised over the phone. The couple was planning to live together in Afghanistan. As per her statement, Abdul Rashid married Yasmin on May 3 before leaving the country.
Ashfaque and Yahya, the other Keralites who went missing, were witnesses to the marriage, while Shihas acted as the bride’s guardian.
NIA officials, meanwhile, confirmed that Dr Ijas who left the country along with his wife Rafaela contacted his family members on Sunday to inform that they were blessed with a baby girl. In August, another woman who travelled to Afghanistan had given birth to a baby girl.