Arrested Tamil youth fought alongside IS fighters in battle of Baji,trained in combat,paid $100
CHENNAI,Oct7: A Tamil Nadu youth who has fought alongside fighters of the so-calledIslamic State in the Iraqi battlefield of Baiji could help Indian agencies unravel details of the outfit’s methods, training modules, religious courses, funds and the role of women in battle.
Senior home ministry officials describe Subahani Haja Moideen’s arrest as the most “prominent” among those of 60 IS recruits over the past two years, saying he is privy to the outfit’s operational details.
In November 2014, a 23-year old youth from Kalyan (Mumbai), Areeb Majeed , was arrested after he returned from IS territory via Turkey. Majeed, however, was never allowed to go to the war zone, and instead, was asked to clean toilets and provide water to those on the battlefield. Moideen and Majeed are the only two known Indian IS recruits to have returned home.
Moideen, originally from Idukki in Kerala, was picked up from Tirunelveli (Tamil Nadu) a few days back as he was preparing to carry out attacks in south India along with a freshly recruited IS module in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. He has been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
After being radicalized online by IS in late 2014 and early 2015, Moideen claims he left home to fight for the organisation on April 8, 2015. “I told my parents and wife I was going to perform Umrah (pilgrimage). As guided by my handlers, I travelled toIraq via Istanbul after taking a flight from Chennai on a visit visa,” Moideen told the investigators. After reaching Istanbul, sources said, he crossed over to Iraq along with other foreign terrorist fighters, including some from Pakistan and Afghanistan.
During his five-month stay in Iraq and Syria, Moideen was trained for three months in Sharia, followed by extensive combat training by the military unit of IS in Mosul.
“I was trained in a batch of 30-35 recruits, mostly foreign fighters from Afghanistan, Australia, Lebanon, Pakistan and other countries, and my trainer was an Afghan national. It was a hard training schedule during which we were kept in small rooms and trained from morning till evening,” Moideen told the investigators.
After his training, IS first sent him to a ‘staging post’ and then to the main battle zone of Baiji in Iraq, where he confronted Iraqi and Kurdish forces, said sources. “I was paid 100 US dollars per month as subsistence allowance by the IS, along with accommodation and food,” he claimed.