Kochi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has confirmed that ten Malayalee youngsters who had undergone combat training at Jihadist camps in Iraq and Syria, have returned to Kerala during the past one year.
The central agency received vital information regarding their involvement in terror-related activities during the interrogation of Subahani Haja Moideen, who allegedly radicalized and recruited several Malayalees to ISIS.
Intelligence agencies were aware of the network which aimed to indoctrinate and recruit Keralites to the terror organization, but until the arrest of Subahani, they had no information about their return to India after undergoing training in the conflict zones of Syria and Iraq.
Subahani, who is currently being interrogated by the NIA, revealed that he and several youngsters from India, including the ten Keralites, were part of a terror gang which was assigned to take on armed forces in the Iraqi city of Mosul.
The Islamic State which took over Mosul after the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime, went on a drive to recruit youth from India and other south Asian countries when Iraqi forces launched a fresh military operation to recapture the key town north of Baghdad from them.
Subahani, who returned to India last year, revealed to the interrogators that the youth were forced to flee Mosul after security forces intensified operations to retake the city.
However, NIA received substantial evidence to prove that they had returned to India much before Iraqi and Kurdish forces inflicted heavy losses on terror outfits operating in Mosul.
It is assumed that the youth were recruited and given arms training as part of the IS’s propaganda to spread its activities in South Asia.
There are reports that former members of the embattled Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and its sympathizers have also been recruited by the ISIS in the recent times.
The intelligence agencies, which could not ascertain the exact reason for Malayalee youths opting to join the ISIS, said that most of the recruits from Kerala live outside the state after returning from Syria or Iraq and they continue to maintain no contact with their family members back home.