Sunday, 27 December 2015

Fahad Sheikh

Sheikh is the second from the left.

Fahad Sheikh is an Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) member and an Indian jihadist. He is one of the Kalyan Four who came to prominence for their actions in 2014. Sheikh was earlier believed to be operating the account @magnetgas which was suspended on 21 occasions, only to resurface with a serial number suffixed to @magnetgas. He later shifted briefly to the handles @pneumatic11, @tungsten9 and @helium61 which were also suspended. Since then, he has used several variations of the handle @cihadci which have also been suspended.

His current Twitter account can be found by searching for the name 'Magnet Gas'.

Aman Tandel

“Do any one recognized anything? The latest hayat media nasheed have a boatful of Indians,” tweeted @cihadci2 at 12:27 pm on Monday.

Abu qaqa al hindi, a Mujahid from India,” tweted @cihadci2.


Early life

Fahad Sheikh's family migrated from Azamgarh to Kalyan in the Indian state of Maharashtra. A mechanical engineer, Fahad had got a job offer two days before he would leave his old, three-storey building close to Bismillah Hotel at Govindwadi. His father, Maqbool Shaikh, is a practitioner of alternative medicine keen on his children’s education. Fahad went to Guru Nanak School, got a diploma from Kalsekar College and subsequently a degree from Saboo Siddik College in south Mumbai, a friend said. Also a sportsman who enjoyed cricket and football, Fahad received the offer from an engineering firm. The other lure, however, was apparently stronger.

“He would speak about the problems Muslims are facing across the world,” said a neighbour. “But no one could have imagined he would pack his bags and leave like this.”

Fahad Sheikh met Areeb Majeed at a local mosque in Kalyan. The two had immediately struck up a friendship-both in the virtual as well as in the real world. Fahad, who had studied mechanical engineering from Nagpada College in south Mumbai, had sound knowledge of Islam, said Areeb. In February 2014, Areeb disclosed his plans to Fahad. The latter said two of his friends, Saheem Tankhi and Amaan Tandeel, also wanted to join ISIS.

“The playing (of) music is prohibited as per the… Hadith,” Majeed told his interrogators. “In 2014, the Eid-e-Milad-Un-Nabi was on 14/01/2014… We (knew) the Barelvi sect will definitely play a mischief, and I along with many followers of Ahl-e-Hadith were gathered outside the Kotbahar Masjid. When the procession proceeded, (the) organiser played Bollywood songs… Fahad went to the extent of pulling down the mike from the vehicle… I was very impressed,” Majeed said.

In touch with the NIA

As of March 2015, Sheikh had been in contact with both India's National Investigation Agency as well as friends and family members. (1) Sheikh has been talking to three of his friends and some family members on the phone and through social networking sites, said NIA officers.Recently, the friends informed them about the conversations, after which they, too, spoke to Sheikh.

“We have told them to continue talking to Sheikh and gather information,” said an NIA officer, on condition of anonymity. “Whenever we urge him to return to India, Shaikh disconnects the call. We know he is in Iraq, but have not been able to trace the exact location,” he said.

In May 2014, four young men from Kalyan – Areeb Majeed, Fahad Sheikh, Aman Tandel and Shahim Tanki – left home for Baghdad as part of a pilgrimage, and then allegedly joined the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Around a week ago, Sheikh told his family members Tanki died a month ago, while he and Tandel are safe in Iraq. “He also shared this information with NIA officers over the phone,” said the officer.
“When we asked him for proof of Tanki’s death, he said we were free to disbelieve him. However, he then sent us a picture, which he said was of Tanki’s body,” he said.

Sheikh is now known as Abu Bakr al-Hindi and he has been promoted for the position of naeb khalifa (deputy caliph) to lead Daesh’s operation against India.

For the latest on Fahad Sheikh visit: Label/Mumbai 002

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