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City based businessman travelled to Syria with wife, infant daughter

A 26-year-old businessman from Mumbai has reportedly travelled to Syria with his wife, infant daughter and cousins to join the Islamic State even as the NIA continues to tighten the noose around ISIS suspects in the country.

Ashfaque Ahmed, a Mumbai based businessman sent a message to his younger brother towards the last week of June informing him that he had travelled to ISIS territory and did not wish to return. “Take care of mother and father,” his message reportedly read.

His cousins 22-year-old Mohammed Siraj who is a businessman, and 30-year-old Ejaz Rehman, a medical practitioner, also accompanied Ashfaque.

Blaming a Kerala based school teacher Mohammad Hanif for radicalising his son, Ashafque’s father Abdul Majeed filed an FIR on August 6.

Majeed, who owns several guest houses, stated in his FIR that Ashfaque, who belongs to the Barveli sect, was drawn towards the Ahl-e-Hadees sect of Islam, and converted in 2014. He married later the same year, but informed his family only after the wedding was over. Ever since conversion, he began exhibiting worrying changes, and stopped listening to music, watching television. “He changed his dressing style and started sporting a beard and had the family worried,” Majeed told the police. The FIR also mentioned that Afshaque and his wife went to Sri Lanka earlier this year for ‘religious education’. It is however unclear if Afshaque took his wife against her will or if she accompanied him on her own accord. Mohammed Hanif, a cleric and teacher from Kerala’s Wayanad, was taken into custody on August 14 by Kerala police and has reportedly influenced 11 of the 21 people from Kerala who are suspected to have joined ISIS. Ashfaque wrote in a message to his youngest brother that I have had migrated to IS territory and did not want to come back, take care of mother and father.

The father of Ashfaque, Abdul Majeed filed an FIR on 6th August naming Abdur Rasheed, Haneef, a Kerala school teacher who travelled to Syria with Ashfaque, Kalyan resident Rizwan Khan and Navi Mumbai resident Arshi Qureshi as the ones who allegedly instigated his son to join the terror outfit Islamic State.

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