MALAPPURAM: A Malappuram native, who joined the Islamic State (IS) in 2017, reportedly died in an American drone strike in Afghanistan.Sources said news of the death of Muhammed Muhasin of Edappal in Malappuram was communicated to his family via a WhatsApp message from an unidentified number from Afghanistan on Tuesday. The message in Malayalam received along with Muhasin’s photo said, “He has become a shaheed (martyr). He was martyred in the path of Allah in an American drone attack in Afghanistan.”
Sources said Muhasin was an engineering college dropout. “He dropped out of college in the final year. He left home after informing his family members that he was going to Bengaluru. A few months later, they were told he was in Dubai. There has been no communication since,” said a source.
Muhasin’s family had lodged a man-missing complaint a few days after his disappearance following which an investigation was launched to track him down. “We are verifying the news,” said a senior police officer.
Muhasin is among the Keralites who went to join the IS three years ago. The migration of Keralites to IS territory first came to light in 2016 when 23 persons from Kasaragod left for Afghanistan. Since then, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has registered nine IS-related cases in Kerala. One case was registered against youths who joined the Al-Nusra Front, an Al-Qaeda-affiliated group, in Syria. Later, it was revealed that over 40 persons from Kannur, Kasaragod, Malappuram, Wayanad, Palakkad and Ernakulam had left for Syria.
A majority of IS fighters in Syria are suspected to be dead. Thurteen persons who moved to Afghanistan, including the leader, Abdul Rashid Abdullah of Kasaragod, are reported to have been killed. Interpol red-corner notice is pending against 21 persons who are in Afghanistan. “We have no official communication from Afghan agencies about the death of any Indian. Even if IS operatives inform the death of its members, the lookout notice issued against them remains pending,” said an NIA source.
Message calls him ‘martyr’
The WhatsApp message in Malayalam received along with Muhasin’s photo said, “He has become a shaheed (martyr). He was martyred in the path of Allah in an American drone attack in Afghanistan.”