Thursday, 17 September 2015

Kerala IS member and amateur DJ Riyab-Ul-Rahman, case filed against him

Rahman's father

Karipur Police have registered a case against Riyab ul Rehman, the Kozhikode native who is suspected to have joined the Islamic State group in Syria.

An FIR (First Information Report) against Riyab was registered on September 16th under section 125 of the IPC (waging war against any Asiatic Power in alliance with the Government of India) and Section 38 and 20 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (being a member of any terrorist organisation). This for the first time a case is registered in the state against a member of the IS. Section 125 was previously used against Bangalore based IS propagandist Mehdi Biswas, better known internationally by his Twitter handle ShamiWitness.

Riyab hailed from Kozhikode, Northern Kerala
 A man who spent most of his childhood in the Emirati city of Ras Al Khaimah, Riyab once had a lifestyle laden with partying and music. A missing persons report was filed by his family in the UAE in April 2015 after he went missing from his workplace at Ras al-Khaimah. The amateur disc jockey (DJ) had come under the thrall of a “radicalised” Bangladeshi school mate of his in 2012.

The UAE believes Rehman’s “mentor” to have been killed in Syria this year. The “Jihadist tutor” had apparently fed Rehman a diet of IS propaganda videos, including speeches of Anwar-al-Awlaki, an influential jihadist preacher who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011.
Rehman’s online activity showed he had a liking for IS anthems and poetry that promoted a martial culture rooted in martyrdom. The youth was adept in Arabic, Hindi, Urdu and English.

Riyab has been described as the "kingpin" of a group of Indians who were interested in IS. He is alleged to have travelled with another Indian to the Syrian-Kurdish town of Kobani on the Turkish border.

The Times of India claims that Riyab ul Rahman travelled to Kobani. While a Turkish approach is likely, this claim is most likely untrue since the town was primarily under YPG control.
Hailing from Payyanakal in Kozhikode, Riyab had his schooling in Ras al Khaimah. He visited Kozhikode only on few occasions and has no contacts on the city, police said. Riyab's father Abdul Rehman told reporters he has no idea about his son's terror links. "I discussed only about his studies," he said. Abdual Rehman said police also had enquired about his elder brother, who was also in Ras al Khaimah.

His older brother Arshad Rahman, who is married and has a two-year-old son, was forced to return to India. The 35-year-old was with a tech company in Sharjah and was doing well, sources said.“My sons Jaleel and Rashid are now looking for jobs here. They have been told that they can go back to RAK in six months to one year,” Mohammad Haji Ashraf told HT over the phone from Thrissur.

Ashraf came back with his sons and other family members. Jaleel, who studied at New India School with Riyad, worked for a bank when he was deported. The UAE has strict anti-terror laws and links to IS -- however tenuous -- can invite severe punishment.

History of Radicalisation

Riyab was an amateur disc jockey (DJ)
The son of a textile businessman, Rehman’s family has been in the UAE for nearly four decades. Riyab was described as “meticulously groomed” when he visited Kozhikode, his home town, in 2009. Rehman had done most of his schooling in affluent Ras al-Khaima, UAE, where his parents were employed for long. He had a penchant for partying, dancing and Western music.  Riyad met his friends while studying at Indian Public School and New India School in Kozhikode.In 2012, Rehman visited Kozhikode again. He had changed by then. 

He sported a beard, had a cultivated dishevelled look and preferred loose-fitting Afghan style robes. His outlook had also changed. He became taciturn and fervently religious. “Riyad left school without completing 10th standard. He came back (from Kozhikode in Kerala) after a year and joined the school again but as my junior,” counter-terror officials quoted Sadanandan as saying.
“After his arrival from Kerala I noticed a beard on his face,” Sadanandan told his interrogators.
“Riyad told me about Prophet Muhammad’s teachings and asked me to compare them with the Gita and decide which was better,” Sadanandan said.
Local authorities mined Rehman’s online history and stumbled upon the WhatsApp group shared by his school friends. The UAE police have detained them. So far, they have deported eight of Rehman’s friends. At least 45 more of his friends and their families have been listed for deportation, officials said.

 In the past month, 6 persons from the UAE have been deported to Kerala for suspected links with the ISIS. However in all these cases, the persons were let off after questioning. Kerala is expecting that four more youth from the UAE will be deported in the next couple of days.
The four youth who were brought to Kerala yesterday told the police that they were checking ISIS related sites only out of curiosity. The police while letting them have also decided to keep a close watch on them.

Two of them landed at the Thiruvananthapuram airport on Tuesday morning in Etihad flight. The other two, Kozhikode native Riyas A. (40) and Malappuram native Salim (28), arrived at the Karipur airport. Their IS links were not confirmed in the interrogation.

Kollam native Anas (22) and Punalur native Aromal S. (24) were taken into custody in Thiruvananthapuram. They had been deported from Abu Dhabi for their suspected IS links.

ISIT, NIA to Trace NRKs' Link with Islamic State

3rd May 2016 05:36 AM 

“Though we conducted a detailed probe in the case, a comprehensive investigation is required to unearth the wider terror network. Being a district crime squad, our reach is limited and a case of this magnitude requires an agency like ISIT,” said Malappuram Crime Detachment DySP C K Babu, who confirmed the order directing to handover the case file to ISIT. He said his squad had prepared a detailed report after questioning six families who were deported from UAE one by one in the last six months for having close association with Malayali youth identified as Riyazur Rehman alias Riyad,24, who reportedly left for Yemen from Ras al Khaimah to join ISIS in August 2015. Of the six families deported from the Gulf, five were from Malappuram and one from Pathanamthitta.

It was in September 2015 that the Kerala Police registered a suo motu case (703/2015) related to ISIS after family members of Riyazur Rehman alias Riyad, 24, were deported from UAE and reached international airport at Karippur, Malappuram. Though efforts are on to trace Riyazur Rehman, he is still reported missing.

“We have nothing to say. We don’t know the whereabouts of our son. We just left Dubai as soon as authorities asked us to,” said a middle-aged woman, standing in front of a double-storey house when “Express” located their residence to a colony at Chakkumkadavu, Kozhikode.

Police officers said the probe revealed that the deported families had no direct involvement in propagating IS through social media but they were told to leave the country after the UAE intelligence wing traced their links with Riyad. More families in UAE fear deportation as the UAE police has started to zero in on all the friends and school mates of Riyad, who was brought up in UAE and made a lot of friends while studying in Indian Public High School and New India School at Ras al Khaimah.

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