Sunday, 2 July 2017

'Bahrain circle' case: Five from Kerala killed in ISIS' Syria territory

'Bahrain circle' case: Five from Kerala killed in ISIS' Syria territory



The Intelligence Bureau has found that five from Kerala had been killed while fighting for the Islamic State in Kerala. The five hailed from the Malabar region and were killed four months back, an Intelligence Bureau report said. The first news came out when the relatives of Sibi from Kanjikkode in Palakkad were told about his death. The family were under the impression that he was working in Bahrain. Later on the IB found that he was linked to Yahya alias Esa who had joined the ISIS in July 2016.
Another person by the name Muhadis hailing from Vandoor in Malappuram was also killed in Syria. The news of his death was conveyed by his brother Manaf who is working in Bahrain.
One person hailing from Chalad in Kannur and two from Vadakara in Kozhikode are also suspected to have been killed in Syria. All the above five persons had gone missing over the past two years. The police which had lodged a complained had termed the case as the 'Bahrain circle.'
The Kerala Intelligence has received reports of death of five persons from Malabar while fighting for Islamic State in Syria, but the news cannot be authenticated as the information was first received by the victims' family, an official has said.

"Such news is not authenticated, it is only information. But the reports could be true as they were received by family circles," a senior officer in the intelligence wing said.
He said relatives of one Sibi from Kanjikode in Palakkad district, had received the news of his death a few days ago. Sibi was working in Bahrain before joining the Islamic State in Syria. "Further details could not be known," the official said.
Similar is the case of one Muhadis, reportedly killed in Aleppo in Syria in military operations.
His brother who works in Bahrain broke the news of Muhadis' death to family members at Vaniyambalam in Mallapuram district when he came home about a month ago, the officer said.
Abu Tahir from Palakkad district was reportedly killed in US military strikes in Syria in April this year. The intelligence official, however, did not give details of the other two persons reportedly killed in Syria.
The official said the earlier deaths of four others from Kasaragod and Kozhikode districts of Kerala at Nangahar in Afghanistan have been confirmed.
"But it will be difficult for us to confirm the present deaths of five persons reportedly killed in Syria," he added.

Keralites radicalised youth before being killed fighting for Islamic State in Syria

Updated: Jul 6, 2017,

KOZHIKODE: The Kerala youth, who were killed while fighting for the Islamic State in Syria, were the members of an extreme Salafi group in Bahrain before they joined the outfit (IS).

Sources told TOI that the two Salafi preachers from Kerala - one from Mankada in Malappuram and the other from Perumbavoor in Ernakulam - were instrumental in radicalising the youth. Four members of the group, including Muhadis from Vandoor, were killed in military operations within a span four months in Syria.

The Salafi preachers had organised classes at a religious centre in Bahrain and at other places where they injected the extreme Salafism in the youth. A few members of the group were working with a catering company in Bahrain.

Sources said the preachers are members of a splinter group among the Kerala Salafis and have no connection with any of the established Salafi organisations in the state. One among them is currently in Mangaluru and his activities are closely monitored by the security agencies.

After getting initiated into extreme Salafism, the youth were learnt to have contacted some well-known Salafi scholars from Kerala who went to Bahrain at different times. "The Salafi scholars did not entertain the youth as they were found to have strong leanings towards the Islamic State," sources said.

The youth later came into contact with Abdul Rashid Abdulla, the former employee of the Peace International School in Kozhikode, who had already become a full-fledged IS cadre. It is suspected that the Salafi preachers had a role in helping the youth in establishing contact with Abdul Rashid, who is learnt to have steered them to the IS stronghold in Syria. Rashid himself has landed in Afghanistan and is co-ordinating the propaganda activities of Kerala module.


The unravelling of the Bahrain group has confirmed the suspicion of the security agencies that the influence of the IS runs deep in Kerala than what was initially thought to be. The number of Malayalis who joined the terror outfit could be much higher than the official estimate which is based on missing cases. IS is suspected to have recruited more Malayalis working in the Gulf countries. Authorities feel that the members of the families of the IS recruits are either unaware of their migration to IS strongholds or are keeping mum due to fear of being ostracized by the society.

Insights gained regarding the Bahrain group have once again forced the law enforcing agencies to sharpen their focus on the Salafi groups in Kerala. Many youth in the Salafi organisations have lost sense of direction after the innumerable splits in the movement.

Some of these Salafi groups are indirectly propagating the ideology of the Islamic State though they vehemently oppose the activities of the terror group in the open. Many of the youth who are associated with these extreme Salafi groups finally end up in the tentacles of the Islamic State.

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