Hyderabad techie detained who searched and liked JIHADI posts
Hyderabad | A 26-year-old man was stopped from travelling to Saudi Arabia and put under police surveillance after intelligence agencies suspected that he was flying out of the country to join the militant group ISIS, now known as Islamic State, in Iraq.
Munawad Salman and his family, originally from Tamil Nadu, live in Musheerabad area of Hyderabad. Munawad completed his engineering from Al-Habeeb College of Engineering and Technology in Ranga Reddy district last year. He worked for Google for about four months after being hired during campus recruitment. Seven months ago, he quit the company and since then he had been looking for a job in Saudi Arabia, police said.
Early this month, Munawad got a visa to visit Saudi Arabia. He was supposed to leave on Tuesday but was detained by police just as he was about to leave home. Officials said Munawad’s elder brother is a top executive in a multinational company in Saudi Arabia but he does not subscribe to jihadi propaganda.
“We had been tracking Munawad’s activities on the Internet for the past several weeks. He was drawn especially to the ISIS’s propaganda and other Islamic militant groups’ websites. He had created some fake identities and would ‘like’ and comment on videos and photos posted by ISIS and other jihadi groups,” a top police officer said on Wednesday.
“We gathered that he was under the impression that the ISIS’s victory in some areas and what they were doing was true ‘jihad’, and probably wanted to join them. He was supposed to fly to Saudi Arabia on October 28 and we detained him. He has not been arrested. He is undergoing counselling and will be under our watch. His parents are also cooperating,” the officer said.
Munawad is also learnt to have left his phone number on a social networking site and a website, which have a large number of jihadi followers. Intelligence officers also chatted with him anonymously in an online chat room used by the ISIS to recruit people.
Munawad told the police that he watched the videos and photos out of curiosity and had no intention of joining the militant group, and claimed that he was never influenced by the online propaganda. However, the police asked him to undergo counselling with the help of his parents and he has been told not to leave the city.
Last week, the police arrested two youths from Maharashtra who had come to Hyderabad to meet a youth who allegedly was to arrange visas and funds for their trip to Afghanistan to train under al-Qaeda.
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