By Rashmi Rajput , Meghna Yelluru
May 21, 2015
Alleged Islamic State recruit Areeb Majeed has told the National Investigation Agency (NIA) that one of the reasons why he returned to India was the “un-Islamic” activities of the IS such as “treating men and women as sex slaves”. He has also said “Indians are sidelined… treated as second-class citizens” by the IS.
This statement forms part of an over 8,000-page chargesheet filed Wednesday by the NIA against Majeed and his three wanted friends. Majeed has been charged under sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Section 125 of the Indian Penal Code.
The four young men from Kalyan — Areeb Majeed, Fahad Shaikh, Amaan Tandel and Saheem Tanki — left their homes and went to fight for the IS in Iraq and Syria in May 2014.
“Unlike what we saw in the videos on the Internet and what we were preached by our handlers, the IS is into un-Islamic activities in Iraq. They treat men and women as sex slaves. I was appalled by what I saw. Women are relegated as sex objects. This disillusioned me and I decided to return to India,” Majeed said in his statement. “The IS claims they are fighting under the Caliphate, but the ground realities are completely different,” he said.
The other reason for his return, Majeed said, is the “blatant discrimination” shown by the banned outfit towards Jihadis from India. “While the Arabs are treated as the real fighters, the Indians are sidelined. They are treated as second-class citizens. They are never considered good enough to fight the real war and relegated as support staff. Indians are never put on the front line,” he said.
Majeed said that in September, when he was based in Raqqa after completing basic training, he volunteered to drive an explosives-laden vehicle behind enemy lines, but was disappointed when the IS cancelled the plan at the last minute. He said he suspected this was done because he was Indian.
He claimed he was hit by bullets and was once injured in a bombing, but did not receive any medical attention. “When I was treating myself for the injuries in Raqqa, which I sustained during the bombing, I realised there was no point being here. I got further dissuaded by the manner in which the IS operated in Iraq,” he said.
Majeed said that in September, he called his family in India. He said his mother started weeping when she heard his voice since they had already given him up for dead and had performed the Ghaibana Namaz-e-Janaza (funeral prayer in absentia) after they got a call from Tanki in August, informing them that Majeed had been killed in a bombing. After learning that Areeb was alive, his family insisted that he return. The family pressure, coupled with his disillusionment with the IS, made him return, he said.
The chargesheet also details Majeed’s indoctrination and his six-month stay in Iraq. According to the chargesheet, Majeed was primarily indoctrinated about the IS over the Internet. A few Indians and foreign nationals also brainwashed him and his three friends, it says. “Areeb used his Samsung Note 1 to browse the Internet and download Jihadi literature,” the chargesheet says. The NIA has attached 87 documents and 46 articles, including Call Data Records, to the chargesheet
The chargesheet claims it was local preacher Adil Dolaris, also from Kalyan, who introduced Majeed to an Afghan national named Rehman Daulati and an alleged Iraqi militant Ahmed Rateb Hussein Zade. Daulati, who had obtained an engineering degree from Navi Mumbai, moved to Afghanistan in 2014. He got in touch with the four youth in 2013. He was also the one who partly financed their trip to Iraq. “The cost of the trip was Rs 2.39 lakh, Dalauti contributed around Rs 1.5 lakh,” the chargesheet states. “Despite shifting to Afghanistan, Daulati intermittently travelled to India. When the youth expressed their desire to travel to Iraq, Daulati promised to help them,” it says.
Other than Daulati, the four also established contact with an alleged IS operative identified as Abu Fatima, who instructed them that on their arrival in Baghdad, they should all stand outside a particular mosque in Mosul. On May 30, the four took a cab to the mosque and stood outside. From there, they called Dalauti and Fatima. Fatima then directed another alleged IS operative identified as Ali to take them for training.
Majeed also claimed that Fahad operated the suspended Twitter handle @magnetgas. The account was created in India and later operated by him in Iraq. It was primarily used to follow IS activities, especially concerning Indian Jihadis. After receiving basic combat training, the four were christened Abu Ali Al Hindi (Areeb), Abu Utman Al Hindi (Saleem), Abu Bakar Al Hindi (Fahad) and Abu Umar Al Hindi (Aman) . The ‘Al Hindi’ suffix is used by the IS to identify Indian jihadis.