Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Tamil Nadu men deported from Turkey for wanting to join IS

Royapettah, Tamil Nadu

Chennai police are keeping a close watch on two youths who were deported from Turkey a fortnight ago on suspicion of them joining ISIS, reports TOI.
 The two men, one a 23-year-old BCom graduate from Royapettah and a 22-year-old school dropout from Karur in Chennai, had reportedly gone to Dubai from Bangalore in August after applying a tourist visa before reaching Turkey. Apparently, the duo had told their respective families that they were looking for jobs in Bengaluru. The 22-year-old school dropout from Karur was working in a store at Ice House near Royapettah. Officials, who repeatedly interviewed the men after their return, did not elaborate much on how the men got attracted to the terrorist group.

The duo was following instructions of an unknown man in Dubai with whom one of them was in touch who suggested going directly to Turkey might raise suspicion. Later they were deported by Turkish authorities for suspicious movement as a staff of the lodge they were staying informed the police about them asking about how to cross the border and reach Syria.

TOI quoted an intelligence official saying, “Ten days ago, they were sent back on a flight to Bengaluru since that was the Indian city from where they boarded their first international flight.” Post-deportation, state and central intelligence grilled them upon which one of the youths revealed that they wanted to join the ISIS believing, ““they were going to rule the world,” after learning about them on the Internet.

They were allowed to return to their families after the interrogations were over. According to a state intelligence official, the duo showed no sign of remorse before eventually breaking down once their families were brought in. However, the TN police have not slapped any charges on the two after counselling although a preliminary report by Turkish authorities suggest that they were trying to join the ISIS.

They spent long hours on the internet to find out how to get to Syria to join ISIS,“ an official said. “Someone guided them online, and they took a flight from Bengaluru to Dubai in August, and from there to Turkey where they were picked up for `suspicious movements' a fortnight ago.The men had told their families that they were going to Bangalore in search of a job.Ten days ago, they were sent back on a flight to Bengaluru since that was the Indian city from where they boarded their first international flight.

As soon as they landed in Bengaluru, central and state intelligence officials interviewed them at an undisclosed place. The Chennai man told police that he was inspired to join ISIS as he believed “they were going to rule the world.“
Sources said the men were adamant about executing their plans till the police brought in their families. On seeing their families, the men broke down,“ said an TN intelligence officer. “We let them go with their families, but they will remain under our close surveillance.“

The man from Karur was staying with his uncle in Ice House, Chennai where he worked in a store. He befriended the BCom graduate, who was helping out his father at his textiles shop in Royapettah, during Friday prayers at a mosque in Purasawalkam. “The two used to discuss about joblessness in India. The Chennai guy told him about job prospects in Syria, where ISIS was ruling the roost. He wanted to join IS and take the other man along,“ said a source.

On the advise of an unknown person he had been in touch online, the Chennai man applied for a tourist visa to Dubai, Turkey and Malaysia, since going directly to Turkey or Syria would generate suspicion.`The idea was to sneak into Syria from Turkey ,“ said the source. They left for Bangalore in August and flew to Dubai. After staying there some time as tourists, they went to Turkey .After a few days they moved towards the Syria border, the source said. Staying in a small lodge, they made inquiries about crossing over to Syria.One of the lodge staffs tipped off the Turkey officials about the youths. The Turkish officials picked them up. They told the investigation officers that they were about to fly to Malaysia, but the officers there found inconsistencies in their statements. “The Turkish officers had enough reasons to believe that the youths were trying to get in touch with ISIS in Syria.Hence they deported them to India,“ said an officer. “They have also sent us a detailed preliminary inquiry report.“ Police said they were not slapping any case on the two men. “They have been counselled and watched,“ the officer said.

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