KOCHI: Intelligence agencies have identified youths from Kerala and Karnataka who joined Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front) - another terrorist group in Syria. Nusra Front is affiliated to Al-Qaeda and is battling the Syrian government since 2012.
Sources in Intelligence Bureau said youths who joined Nusra Front are North Paravoor native Hashir, Siddique of Malappuram, Muhammad Irfan of Vadakkumbad near Thalassery, Thahir Mohammed of Shimoga in Karnataka and Sultan Abdulla of Mukkom, Kozhikode.
The intelligence agency has contacted another youth who is currently in the UAE after returning from Syria. “This was one of the first groups from India which moved to Syria to join a terrorist organisation. These persons moved to Syria while staying in Qatar. They reached Syria in 2012-2013 even before the IS was formed. They sneaked into Syria through Turkey. They were radicalised in Qatar. Attempts are on to trace them out. We have identified another youth from Kerala who fought for Nusra Front and later returned to India. He is currently staying in the UAE. We contacted him with the help of his family members. He will be quizzed when he returns to Kerala. He can provide information about other members of the group,” an officer said.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) in January had registered a case to probe unidentified persons from South India joining Nusra Front. As the members of the group have been identified, the agency has arraigned them as accused. A non-bailable arrest warrant was also issued by a court in Kochi against these persons.
“As part of the attempts to trace them out and prevent them from returning to the state undetected, non-bailable arrest warrants were issued. The NIA will also approach Interpol for bringing out red-corner notices against these persons,” an officer said.
The agency is already probing four groups from Kerala which exited India to join the IS in Afghanistan and Syria. Most of the persons who left for Syria were reportedly killed while waging war against the government there. Even though IS was completely routed in Syria, Nusra Front is still active without exercising any territorial control.
Radicalised in Qatar
North Paravoor native Hashir, Siddique of Malappuram, Muhammad Irfan of Vadakkumbad near Thalassery, Thahir Mohammed of Karnataka and Sultan Abdulla of Kozhikode joined Jabhat al-Nusra (Nusra Front) which has been battling the Syrian government since 2012. Before moving to Syria, they stayed in Qatar where they were radicalised. Attempts are on to trace them out.