KOCHI: The Central agencies, including the anti-terror NIA probing the so-called Islamic State (IS) roots in Kerala, are on the look out for Muhammed Faizal Hameed aka Abu Marwan Al Hindi who is believed to be holed up in Qatar. A native of Changankulangara near Karunagappally in Kollam, he is suspected to be the fourth member of the IS module which was planning suicide attacks in Kerala.
According to sources, the NIA is looking to interrogate 25-year-old Muhammed Faizal who can provide more information on IS modules in Kerala receiving aid from abroad. “Through relatives, he has been asked to appear before NIA for the interrogation. If he doesn’t turn up, with the assistance of Interpol, attempts will be made to bring him back to Kerala. NIA tracked him down after interrogating other members of the module, including Riyas Aboobacker of Palakkad, who was planning suicide attacks in the state. Muhammed Faisal is arraigned as the 19th accused in the case,” they said.
The NIA probe into the IS module’s operations revealed that it was formed in September 2018. Muhammad Faizal contacted the other members of the group via social media platforms. The module received directions from Malayalees in Syria and Afghanistan. Rashid Abdullah, Ashfaaq Majeed and Abdul Khayoom- from Kerala- who went to Afghanistan and Syria to join the IS - were communicating with Riyas.
Riyas’ friend died in Af
The probe into IS roots in Kerala revealed Riyas Aboobacker is a close friend of Shibi Kunnath Thodika from Kanjikode who was reportedly killed in Afghanistan in June 2017. IS had posted Shibi’s online poster stating Abu Ishaq Al Hindi attained martyrdom. “Riyas and Shibi were close friends and the death affected him. A martyrs’ video was released,” an officer said.
Bid to bolster IS ranks
Agencies have found that some of the members who left for Syria and Afghanistan are still attempting to recruit more persons from Kerala to the IS. “Firozkhan MTP, the sixth accused in the Kasargod IS case, hailing from South Trikaripur, Kasargod has been attempting to recruit more persons to IS. From Syria, he sends messages to his relatives and friends to join the IS.