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'.




“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.

Thane family receives call: Son in Islamic State killed in Raqqa battle


Updated: October 26, 2017 9:12 am (Indian Express)

Fahad Tanvir Sheikh, one in a four-member cell of students from Maharashtra’s Thane who became the first Indians to join the Islamic State, has been killed fighting near Raqqa last week, his family has been told by an anonymous caller. Sheikh was the last surviving member of the cell, following the arrest of Areeb Majeed, and the killing of Sahim Tanki, and Aman Naim Tandel.
“Late Tuesday, my wife received a call from a foreign number from someone who told us our son had been killed,” said Dr Tanvir Sheikh, Fahad Sheikh’s father. “She was distraught, and did not note down the details the caller offered about what had happened and where.”

National Investigation Agency sources said Dr Sheikh had telephoned the organisation immediately after receiving the call, adding that they were now working to trace its origin. Sources, however, said there were no means available to independently verify the circumstances of Sheikh’s death, given violent and anarchic conditions in the area. Family members said Sheikh, an engineering student, had misled his parents into believing he was leaving home to take up a job in Mumbai’s Bandra area.

Intelligence sources said Sheikh may have been among the 300-odd jihadists who staged a last stand against Kurdish forces at a Raqqa sports stadium and a hospital, even as their commanders debated whether to surrender to forces that were closing in.
Forces from the Kurdish Yekîneyên Parastina Gel, or Peoples’ Protection Militia, are believed to have killed dozens of the Islamic State’s foreign fighters in the last days of the battle for Raqqa, after receiving informal instructions not to take prisoners.

Intelligence sources said Sheikh may have been among the 300-odd jihadists who staged a last stand against Kurdish forces at a Raqqa sports stadium and a hospital, even as their commanders debated whether to surrender to forces that were closing in. Forces from the Kurdish Yekîneyên Parastina Gel, or Peoples’ Protection Militia, are believed to have killed dozens of the Islamic State’s foreign fighters in the last days of the battle for Raqqa, after receiving informal instructions not to take prisoners.

'Arrest of mate deterred 3 Kalyan youths from returning home. Now they are dead'

Oct 27, 2017, 12:40 IST (Times of India)

A day after the third of four Kalyan youths who went to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) in May 2014 was reported dead, one of his family members came out strongly against the government's attitude to impressionable young minds who fall under the influence of militant indoctrination. "The government could have set an example. After Areeb Majeed (see graphic) returned to India, he could have been given a chance to reform.Instead, he was slapped with stringent laws and jailed. (Fahad) Shaikh and the other two must then have thought that either way they have to die, in their own country or in a foreign land. So, they must have chosen to stay back," said the family member, wishing to be unnamed. "Now all three are dead (the other two being Aman Tandel and Shaheem Tanki)." In her last phone conversation with Fahad, reportedly killed while fighting in Raqqa, Syria, his mother repeatedly pleaded with him to return home. The call was made by Fahad a couple of months ago, said his uncle Iftekhar Khan."His mother got a call on the internet on Tuesday from an unidentified person, who told her Fahad went down fighting for ISIS in Raqqa. We always feared this would be his fate. He is believed to have been killed last week." 

The family live in Govindwadi, Kalyan. Khan said the family had kept security agencies informed about all calls made by Fahad, an engineering graduate and the oldest of six siblings. His father, Dr Tanveer Shaikh, is a doctor. The family hasn't yet performed prayers that are done in their community when a family member dies."We shall decide when every family member arrives," Khan said. It seems the family hopes that the report of Fahad's death is untrue. In 2015, Areeb Majeed's family was informed by Shaheem's family that he had told them Areeb had died fighting. The Majeeds performed his last rites and prayers. But a few months later, Areeb spoke to his father after his escape to Turkey following injuries in an air strike. His father approached the NIA, and Areeb was arrested upon landing in Mumbai.

Fahad was the first of the four to go on Twitter (with the handle Magnet Gas) to contact ISIS handlers.Talking about his friend ship with Fahad, Areeb told the NIA he first spoke to him in October 2013 after both offered prayers at the same place. They exchanged numbers and became friends, on Facebook as well.

After fleeing India, when they reached Baghdad, they contacted Areeb's Facebook friend Tahira Bhatt, who told them to go to Mosul, from where they were picked up by ISIS fighters. During training, Fahad was given the name Abu Bakar Al-Hindi.



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

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