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Quran Circle to honey trapping: ISIS making Karnataka a playground for radicalisation

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New Delhi, Apr 17: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has charged three Islamic State (ISIS) recruiters in connection with the Quran Circle case. The NIA charged Muhammad Tauqir Mahmood, Zohaib Manna and Mohammed Shihab all residents of Karnataka.

Quran Circle to honey trapping: ISIS making Karnataka a playground for radicalisation

The NIA said that its probe found that the accused persons were involved in radicalising and recruiting gullible Muslim youth into the ISIS through a group known as Quran Circle. They were also raising and receiving funds to fund the visit of the youth to go to Syria. The two accused Mahmood and Shihab had both visited Syria to establish contact with the ISIS, the NIA also said.

The case was registered by the NIA in September last year after the examination of Dr Abdur Rahman in an Islamic State Khorasan province case, who was motivated and sent to Syria to join the ISIS in 2013-14 by the terrorist group formed by the accused in the case.

The radicalisation problem in Karnataka is nothing new. The NIA has for years being probing similar cases in the state. Recently the NIA arrested one Deepti Marla alias Maryam, the lady from Kodagu who had converted to Islam and then joined the Islamic State. She had used honey trapping as one method to lure Hindu men and then convert them to Islam. The probe so far has revealed that she had honey trapped and then converted 10 Hindu youth into Islam. Once they were converted to Islam, she would force them to join the ISIS.

In the case of Muslim youths she would radicalise them and then get them to join the ISIS, an official told OneIndia. During the probe one Madesh Perumal alias Abdul told the NIA that she had used provocative chats to lure him into the ISIS. Perumal told the NIA that the way in which she spoke was so impressive that he not only converted to Islam, but also agreed to go to Afghanistan and carry out bombings.

The NIA learnt that she had created several fake accounts in both Hindu and Muslim names. With the Hindus she would pose as a Hindu and in the case of Muslims, she posed as a Muslim.

She is married to Idinabba's son, Anas Abdul Rahiman. The arrests took place in Ullal, Mangalore and the case relates to the one in which scores of persons left Kerala to join the ISIS in Afghanistan also known as the Islamic State Khorasan Province.

During the investigation it was revealed that after the decline of the ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Marla and Mohammad Ameen visited Kashmir in January 2020 for Hijrah or religious migration. They also ended in terror acts and supported the activities of the ISIS, the NIA said. The NIA also said that Maryam was the kingpin in the case along with Ameen.

Following the incident in Kerala, last year, the NIA had conducted raids in Ullal and arrested Ammar Abdul Rahman, the grandson of Idinabba. It is alleged that Rehman's niece was part of the group of Muslims who had left Kerala for Afghanistan. Idinabba passed away in 2009.

In 2017, the NIA had filed a chargesheet in which said that Rehman's niece, Ajmala and her husband Shifas K P left for Afghanistan via Bengaluru and joined the ISKP in the Nangarhar province. Ajmala is said to have been killed in 2018.

During the 2021 raid, Maryam was interrogated by the NIA for two days. However she was not arrested at that time. Sources tell OneIndia that her activities and movement were closely monitored.

Said to be highly radicalised, Maryam originally known as Deepti hails from Kodagu district in Karnataka, which is 240 kilometres away from Bengaluru. She met Anas while studying BDS in Deralakatte, following which she converted to Islam. She is said to have become very conservative and radicalised.

The NIA alleges that she had connections terrorists of the ISIS. She is also suspected of radicalising many youth and recruiting them into the outfit.

Idinabba's family has been under the scanner of the agencies for long. During the raids in 2021, the NIA also arrested one Madesha S P alias Ali Malviya, Ubaid Hamid and Muzzamil Hasan Bhat, residents of Kashmir.

The NIA said that these persons are closely linked with Mohammed Ameen Yahya, an ISIS sympathiser. Yahya a resident of Mallapuram in Kerala was arrested on March 15 for propagating on behalf of the ISIS on social media channels. He was also accused of radicalising and recruiting Muslim youth into the ISIS. The NIA had also held one Muhab Anva from Kollam and Dr Rahees Rashid, a dentist from Kerala. The NIA in its 2016 chargesheet said that after leaving India, the accused persons continued with anti-India activities.

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