Thursday, 13 July 2017

Kerala Man Kandy Attempts to Join ISIS for 2nd time, Arrested at Delhi Airport

Kerala resident’s bid to join IS foiled second time

Published:July 13, 2017

The Delhi Police have arrested a Kerala native who was deported from Turkey while allegedly trying to join the Islamic State in Syria. The police have also arrested a passport agent who had helped 32-year-old Shahjahan Velluva Kandy procure fake travel papers. The police said Kandy, who was deported from Turkey for travelling on a fake passport, is being interrogated in Delhi about his activities in Syria. “Kandy had gone to Turkey last year in June with his wife, but was deported from there in February after trying to cross over to Syria for joining ISIS.

His wife was also deported,” a police officer said. Deputy commissioner (special cell) P S Kushwah said: “A case under Sections 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery) and 419 (impersonation) under the Passport Act has been registered against him. Further investigations are on.” He was arrested from the airport with the fake documents on July 1.

According to intelligence sources, Kandy was an activist of the Muslim outfit Popular Front of India (PFI). Sources said the Kannur resident had first been deported from Turkey four months back. This was his second attempt to allegedly join the Islamic State. Last time, he was let go by Delhi police after he pleaded mercy and sought release saying his wife was in an advanced stage of pregnancy.

“Subsequently, the NIA issued a notice for him to appear before the agency for recording his statements. However, the notice could not be served to Kandy as he was missing from the house. We have been trying to locate him since then,’’ said an officer. There is no criminal case against him.
Police had questioned him in connection with the arms training camp allegedly conducted by the PFI in Kannur in 2013. But the police couldn’t find any evidence to link him with the case.

ISIS man was member of banned NDF outfit


Custodial interrogation of the arrested ISIS operative Shahjahan Velluva Kandy revealed that he was a former member of the proscribed NDF, an outfit in Kerala whose objective was to focus on socio-economical issues of minorities, with special emphasis on Kerala Muslims. NDF had also announced a plan to aggressively propagate Islam.

Delhi Police on Wednesday said it had also arrested the person who had made the fake passport for Shahjahan, but refused to name him. Police said the accused was in the jute manufacturing business. Delhi Police teams had been tracking his activities for the last one year. Investigation also revealed that Shahjahan was accused of destroying CPM flag masts in Kannur. Shahjahan, who used to live with his mother and two brothers in Koddali Village in Kannur, shifted to Chennai in 2011 after getting married.

“Shahjahan had gone to Turkey with his wife last year in June and was deported this February along with her, after which he disappeared. It was during this time that he became even more radicalized. In March again, he went to Turkey and tried to go to Syria but he was again deported in July after which he was arrested,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Cell, Pramod Singh Kushwaha.
Shahjahan was arrested from the Indira Gandhi International Airport on July 1 this year after he was deported by Turkey for the second time.

During interrogation Shahjahan told police that he attempted to go to Syria to join the ISIS. He also disclosed that he had links with some of the ISIS terrorists who were arrested in Kerala in October last year. Also, police came to know that Shahjahan was in touch with several ISIS sympathisers in India and Syria through the Telegram Application as hundreds of Telegram IDs of ISIS sympathisers were found on his mobile.

A Chennai based travel agent has been arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell for running a fake passport racket, reports The New Indian Express. On Wednesday, reports suggest that police narrowed down on M Mohammed Musthaffa, 26, at his native Adirampattinam village in Thanjavur district. The arrest was reportedly made based on a tip off provided by an ISIS sympathiser who was recently deported from Turkey.

It was a passport apprehended from 32-year-old Shahjahan Velluva Kandy, a native of Kerala that led investigators to Tamil Nadu. Shahjahan was allegedly on his way to Syria to join Islamic State, a banned terrorist group.The passport found on him had been procured by using false documents and had a Chintadripet address, according to reports. This is the same area from where police had arrested a head constable and postman, for colluding in a fake passport racket.

Delhi Police reportedly landed in Chennai a week back and have been looking for travel agents who helped Shahjahan procure the fake passport. Musthaffa has reportedly been running the Well-go travel agency at Mannady in Chennai for the last four years. He had supplied a fake passport to Shahjahan for Rs.1.5 lakh and made it seem like he was residing at Chintadripet.

The passport was reportedly identified as fake only after the flight he boarded left for Turkey.
The Turkish airport was alerted and the passport was then traced back to Musthaffa.
The travel agent was then arrested from Thanjavur, where he had reportedly gone for a wedding.
The Delhi team which made the arrest brought Musthaffa to Chennai on Thursday and conducted a detailed inquiry. They are now reportedly investigating if there are more fake passports that have been supplied by the accused.

NIA to seek inputs on arrested IS sympathiser

15th July 2017 

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) will seek inputs from the Delhi police on Shahjahan Velluva Kandy, a Kannur native and IS sympathiser arrested from New Delhi, over his links with other IS persons from Kerala.

The NIA suspects Shahjahan maintained contacts with the perosns who left for Afghanistan from the state and with some arrested from Kanakamala last year.Shahjahan, a PFI activist, travelled twice to Syria via Turkey allegedly for joining IS. However, he was deported on both occasions after security agencies in Turkey intercepted him there.
“The decision to arraign him as accused in the IS case registered in Kerala will be taken based on the facts revealed during the investigation by the Delhi police. There will be information sharing between the NIA and the Delhi police in this regard. It is claimed the arrested person had links with the people who had left for Afghanistan and some arrested from Kanakamala. This will be confirmed by the Delhi police soon,” an NIA officer said.

Meanwhile, the Delhi police are yet to charge the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act(UAPA) against Shahjahan. Offences under UAPA which come in the scheduled list of NIA Act enable the national agency to directly take over the case investigation. “Currently, only offences likely forgery and possession of fake passport are registered against Shahjahan. It is for the Delhi police to find out whether UAPA should be invoked against the accused,” the officer said.

Intelligence agencies had put Shajahan under surveillance after security agencies in Turkey deported him to India while attempting to travel to Syria in February.Currently, NIA investigates five cases related to IS in Kerala.

‘Six Kerala men among Islamic State fighters in Syria’

Updated: July 24, 2017

At least six persons from Kerala are said to be fighting alongside the Islamic State (IS) in Syria since February, according to disclosures by a Kannur resident to the Delhi Police after he was deported from Turkey recently.
Shahjahan Velluva Kandy from Kannur in Kerala, who was arrestedon July 1 at the Delhi airport on being deported, has identified at least six persons from in and around Kannur who were said to be in the IS-controlled territory.

From Dubai

Kandy told security agencies that the six men had crossed over to Syria while two others were deported.
He told interrogators that some of them were working in Dubai and had reached Turkey through Iran, from where they crossed over to Syria on foot. An official said they were interrogating Kandy further to know the exact point from where the Kerala men crossed over to Syria, adding there were many points along Turkey-Syria border to illegally cross over.

All accounted for

“All the men named by Kandy have been accounted for and we are investigating further. Some of them went from Dubai, where they were working, so their families were also not aware. Kandy was caught when a paying guest accommodation where he was living in Istanbul was raided by Turkish authorities,” a senior Home Ministry official told The Hindu. It is not clear whether Kandy and others had the same handler, who was directing them online.
The Islamist organisation, which had captured large areas in Syria and Iraq to establish a ‘Caliphate,’ has been losing territory over the past few months as coalition forces reclaim the areas under their control. While Mosul in Iraq has been declared free of IS control, Syrian forces were in the last leg to recapture Raqqa, the self-declared capital of the terrorist outfit.

Escaped scrutiny

The official said the escape of the four persons to Syria at a time when the hold of the terrorist organisation was shrinking was a cause of concern as security agencies had till now no knowledge of this development. Kandy managed to slip from the radar of security agencies even though he had been questioned by the authorities in February and was under “scrutiny.”

Last year, 21 men, women and children from Kerala had left for Afghanistan via Iran to live in the IS controlled territory. Mainly comprising defectors from Tehrik-i-Taliban (TTP), the Wilayat Khorasan of Islamic State in Afghanistan came into existence in 2015. Three of them are learnt to have been killed in drone attacks.

Earlier, agencies had information about 30 Indians who were said to be fighting for IS since 2014. Most of these fighters included former Indian Mujahideen members who fled India after the serial bombings in 2008.

Police said, the last was Kandy’s third attempt to cross over to Syria from Turkey in the past one year. Kandy made the first attempt when he went alone to Malaysia in 2016 but he returned as he couldn’t get a contact in Turkey. He went to Malaysia again in February 2016 and travelled on to Turkey in June the same year with his wife and children. He and his family were caught by the Turkish authorities and deported to India.

In 2017, he again went to Malaysia on a forged passport, travelled to Iran and then reached Turkey with hopes to cross over to Syria, when was caught again and handed over to Indian authorities.

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