16 Missing Indians Suspected To Join IS

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Thiruvananthapuram: As many as 16 young Muslim men went missing from Kerala a month ago and some of them may have sent messages to their parents that they have joined the Islamic State, reports said on Saturday.

PTI quoted Kasaragod district panchayat member VPP Mustafa as saying they sent messages to their parents on Eid claiming “Divine Rule” and even asked the elders to “join them”.

“We are not coming back. Here there is Divine Rule. You also should join us” read one of the messages while the other message said, “We have joined IS to fight US for attacking Muslims”, Mustafa said.

The veracity of these messages are yet to be checked. All the youths hail from middle class families and had been showing keen interest in religious matters since the last two years, Mustafa said.

Security agencies suspect that at least 16 men from Kasaragode and Palakkad districts of Kerala may have joined the terrorist outfit Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has directed the police to launch a probe into the matter urgently, Kasaragod MP P Karunakaran said.’

Vijayan expressed “grave concern” over the news of the missing men. Hakim, father of one of the missing men Hafesuddin from Kasaragod, told television channels that his son had left a month ago and there was no news from him.

If he returns as a good man, I will welcome him. If not, I do not want to see even his dead body,” Hakim said.

While 11 hail from Padna and Thrikaripur in the northernmost Kasaragod district of Kerala, others are from Palakkad district.

Mustafa said among the missing were Dr Ijas and his dentist wife. They had left home saying they were going to Lakshadweep, he told PTI.

Abdul Rasheed, an engineering graduate, had left home with his wife and a two-year old daughter, stating that they were going to Mumbai for a job.

Earlier, in May the Islamic State had released a 22-minute video showing Indian origin fighters brandishing guns and warning of attacks on homeland to avenge alleged atrocities from Gujarat riots to Kashmir to the Babri Masjid demolition.

PTI