Ujjain train blast accused visited Kerala 3 months ago with the aim of join ISIS

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New Delhi, March 31: 3 youths from the Uttar Pradesh group accused of blow a bomb on a Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train on March 7th, traveled to Kozhikode in Kerala in January this year to try and establish contact with people who could help them travel to Syria or Afghanistan to join the Islamic State, The Indian Express says as per the revelation from from investigation authorities.
The three persons killed in an encounter with Uttar Pradesh anti-terror squad personnel, Danish Akhtar (26), Atif Muzaffar (22), and Saifullah Khan (23),  on the night of March 8 at Lucknow — went to Kozhikode via Bengaluru and Mysuru between December 28 and January 13, The Indian Express says as per sources.

AAccording to the report, the two persons Danish Akhtar and Atif Muzaffar, who were arrested from a bus in Madhya Pradesh’s Pipariya, of within hours of the blast, have told investigators that they went to a village in Kozhikode to help people from the Ahle Hadees sect who were facing a local threat.

The investigation reveals that their trip to Kozhikode (Calicut) was an effort of the group to find help to travel to Islamic State (ISIS)-linked territories in Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan on Hijrah since a group of people from the region had traveled to Afghanistan in 2016.

Investigators are looking at possible links between members of the Uttar Pradesh group and an engineer from Kozhikode, Shajeer Mangalaserri (35), reported to be in Afghanistan, who is alleged to have facilitated the travel of several people from Kerala to Afghanistan to join the Islamic State in the last two years.

Shajeer is among eight persons against whom the National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a charge sheet on March 29 for their alleged involvement in what is known as the Omar Al-Hindi ISIS module from Kerala. Six persons, including two from Kozhikode, were arrested by the NIA in October 2016.

Sources said the Uttar Pradesh group’s leader Atif Muzaffar established contact with an Islamic State handler using the name Abu Hashim on Telegram sometime in early 2016 after he was referred to the Telegram handle by a person he met in Kashmir during a trip taken with Faizal Khan (23) and Saifullah in February 2016.

The Telangana police, whose online and offline tracking of the Uttar Pradesh module led to the group’s speedy arrest soon after the March 7 train blast, got on the trail of the Uttar Pradesh group sometime in late 2016 after the group had established contact with online handler Abu Hashim on Telegram, after the group had sworn allegiance to Islamic State, procured guns, carried out a murder, and even tested a bomb at a farm house on Gangapur road near Kanpur in November 2016, sources said. “They were being tracked for the last three to four months,’’ sources said.