Zakir Naik a common factor in the radicalisation of ISIS recruits: NIA IG
New Delhi, Oct 14: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) said that the accused in a majority of the ISIS cases were radicalised through the videos of Zakir Naik. This is why a case was registered against Naik and others, Alok Mitta, IG NIA said.
Speaking at a conference of anti-terror teams, he said that the agency had arrested 127 people from different parts of the country in connection with ISIS case. The largest number of people were arrested from Tamil Nadu (33), Uttar Pradesh (19), Kerala (17), Telangana (14), Maharashtra (12), Karnataka (8) and Delhi (7).
He further said that persons have been arrested from other states as well. Mittal said that one of the common factors in the radicalisation of these persons was Zakir Naik.
Nashidul Hamzafar, the 26-year-old management student from Kerala's Wayanad was in September arrested by the NIA after he became one of the first ISIS recruits to be deported from Afghanistan.
During his interrogation, he details the role played by Islamic preachers such as Naik and what sort of an influence they had on him, which ultimately prompted him to join the ISIS.
Hamzafar says that he was not attracted to the ISIS ideology for long. I found them to be too brutal and the outfit only scared me, he says. My ambition was to pursue my education and find a good job in Dubai.
A lot changed when one of his friends, Shihas sent him an audio clip regarding the Islamic State. My perception towards the outfit changed. Then I began listening to audios of Zakir Naik, Noman Alikhan among others. Their speeches inspired me and my approach towards life changed.
The fugitive who is in Malaysia has had his name taken several times in the past by radical elements. He has however maintained that he has nothing to do with these incidents and India is indulging in a witch-hunt against him.
In the Kerala Islamic State case, his name has cropped in the past as well. The raids that were conducted on Sunday are related to the same case and the NIA has learnt that the members of this module were on the same social media group that the terrorists who undertook the Sri Lanka blasts were. The NIA has, however, said that it found no direct link between the Kerala module and the one in Sri Lanka.