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Kerala man working in Qatar ditches media job to join Islamic State

The Islamic State's (IS) reach in India is deeper than we'd like to imagine. According to recent reports, a journalist working with a 'right-wing Muslim' Malayalam newspaper in Kerala has joined the Islamic State.

 Kerala man working in Qatar ditches media job to join Islamic State


Manorama Online suggests that the Home Ministry was informed of his defection by the Central intelligence department more than eight months ago. However, the information was confirmed at the Director-General of Police's meet in New Delhi.

The reporter enamoured by the Islamist group's ideologies got in touch with the IS through its social media forums. He was forced to quit his job with the newspaper after his family tried to dissuade him from travelling to Syria. His identity has not been revealed by the Home Ministry in order to protect his family who were against him joining the terror outfit.

He soon left for Qatar, where varying reports suggest he took up a job as either an international reporter for the same newspaper or as an accountant. But, two years later, he fled to join the Islamist organisation.

“A graduate, he sometimes contributed local news for the daily. But after nearly four months, he left for Doha. He was not directly associated with the daily but he may have sent some local news while working in Doha too. We tried to contact him later, but couldn’t do so,” said a source at the newspaper to The Indian Express.

According to information from intelligence sources, a growing number of youths from Kerala support the IS on social media platforms. “Most of the pro-IS Facebook accounts of Malayalees are operated from Gulf countries. The Gulf countries are dealing with those who support IS on social media. We have inputs that Saudi Arabia and UAE acted tough against a few persons from Kerala who had supported the IS on social media,’’ reports The Indian Express.

Official sources said of the seven Indians who are presently with the IS, two were from Kalyan in Mumbai's outskirts, and one was an Australia-based Kashmiri. Four others joined the jihadist group from Telangana, Bengaluru, Oman and Singapore, reports PTI.

Of these, only one one is in a combat role, after six others who had previously joined the IS went down fighting. Among those killed were three Indian Mujahideen terrorists — two from Maharashtra and one from Telangana — including Sultan Ajmer Shah and Bada Sajid, who had joined IS ranks after spending some time in Pakistan.

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Updated Date: Aug 08, 2015 09:00:14 IST

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