One more Islamic State recruit from Kerala reported killed in Afghanistan

A youth from Kerala who allegedly joined the Islamic State has been killed in Afghanistan, said a message received by an activist in Padanna in north Kerala on Monday. It was reportedly sent by another youth who was among 21 people who disappeared from the state in June 2016.

Ashfaq Majeed, one of those 21 people, sent a message on Telegram app to BC Rehman, an activist and author in Padanna in north Kerala on Monday informing him that Shajeer Mangalaserry (32) had been killed in an attack in Afghanistan. The message also carried the photo of the slain youth.

“Shajeer has become ‘shaheed’ and Allah knows the best,” said the message in Malayalam. If the information is true, he is the fourth among that group of 21 people to be killed in Afghanistan. Earlier relatives received information in similar manner about the death of three others, Hafisudddn, Mursheed Muhamed and Bestin Vincent alias Yahya, all in 25-30 age group. The earlier messages were also sent by Ashfaq.

Earlier there were reports that Shajeer was killed when the United Sates dropped the Mother of all Bombs on April 13 in Afghanistan. It is not immediately known whether he succumbed to injuries received in the US bombing or was killed in a fresh offensive.

A product of the National Institute of Technology, Kozhikode he is suspected to have been drawn into jihadi politics when he was working in the UAE. The son of a driver of the state public transport department, Shajeer was a studious student during his school and college days.

Most of the relatives of the missing youth have disowned them for bringing disrepute to the state and the community. Initially some of them sent messages through Telegram asking them to come back but now they said they lost all hopes.

The group of 21 people who simply dropped off the radar sent shockwaves across the country. Most of them were well educated and hailed from respectable upper middle class families. Among them two men and three women are converts. Intelligences agencies had later traced their location to Afghanistan.

Later Kerala police had arrested two persons from Mumbai – Arshid Qureshi and Rizwan Khan – who allegedly played a key role in recruiting them to the IS and later sending them abroad.

Qureshi, an associate of controversial preacher Zaka Naik, was held in connection with the disappearance of Merin alias Mariyam, a resident of Kochi. Merin’s brother had filed a police complaint saying Qureshi had tried to convert him also during a meeting in Mumbai last year.

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