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I was heartbroken by Areeb Majeed’s parents’ pain

This year Areeb Majeed, one of the four Muslim boys who went missing in May and were believed to have travelled to Iraq to join the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), was allegedly declared dead by police in a recent bombing in Iraq. He was falsely declared dead to avoid the investigations and also the probe. The police say the news was communicated by his friend Saheen Tanki, who had also travelled with him to Iraq. Indian police are good at scripting false stories. They change the narrations as per their convenience and situational demands. The four young men Areeb Majeed, Fahad Shaikh, Amaan Tandel and Saheen Tanki hail from Kalyan in Thane situated in the outskirts of Mumbai. On 25th May, they left along with 40 others by an Etihad flight to Baghdad on a pilgrimage. On May 31st, they called for a private taxi which dropped them at Mosul. Then they went missing, and after that, Media and Police collaborated and served interesting stories to the people of India.

These misguided youth are in a fool’s paradise. They were brought up with wrong ideology and given wrong directions in life from childhood. They misunderstand “jihad” and believe that by fighting for “Jihad,” they and their family members will land in heaven in front of the Almighty. They do not understand their Holy Prophet and their Holy Book itself. There are many misguided children who have chosen the wrong path to fight Jihad in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Chechnya and Kashmir. Muslim youth all over the world are being targeted by these terrorist groups. They are attracted or drawn by the propaganda and brain washing which is done on regular basis. The parents, elders, teachers, clerics and friends have to play a very important role in thwarting them from being victims of these extremists and terrorist groups. It is a big task for Muslim society to stop these youth from unfortunate diversions for the benefit of the entire world.

Areeb Majeed, the 23-year-old alleged ISIS recruit from Kalyan returned to India, told interrogators that his training began after he visited an internet chat room. He was inspired to join the terrorist group and had given the phone number of a person, whose men picked him up from Mosul in Iraq. The three other youth, all in their twenties, who left their Kalyan homes with Majeed to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, were also reportedly indoctrinated through chat rooms. If you go to internet there are many religious groups, which are conditioning youth to take revenge and spread hate in the name of Religion or Dharma.

First, we have to probe who has misguided the youngsters to fight on behalf of IS or any other extremists groups. The ambivalent attitude of the central and state governments in the past towards terrorism has facilitated its unbridled growth. Rather than fighting the terrorists, the governments adopted a defensive laid back policy by which the terrorists gain. India needs to go deep down to the root and teach a lesson to those who are recruiting terrorists. There are many youth arrested by authorities involved in terror activities. It is not necessary to know what he learned in ISIS camp or in other camps. Most important question one should ask is that instead of joining Indian Army to serve the country, why they joined a terrorist group? Who brainwashed them? Why they are doing so? No investigation authorities or human rights commissions or moral custodians ever did so.

Coming back to Majeed, in a chat room, he got the number of Abu Ali and was told to contact him only when he reached Mosul, Majeed has told his interrogators. After he joined the ISIS in Iraq, he was asked to supervise construction work in their territories since he was studying civil engineering. However, he expressed a desire to fight and was trained in operating AK-47s and rocket launchers. He got injured during practice and was sent to a treatment facility where he was reportedly ignored, prompting him to flee. Now, here the questions arise that is it easy to flee from the clutches of terror groups? Can this be a deliberate attempt to spread their message to intelligence agencies? Moreover, why intelligence agencies declare these interrogation reports to media and make it public? Majeed is booked under the anti-terror law and for waging war against a friendly Asian country, was produced before the notified National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in south Mumbai on Saturday and remanded in police custody till December 8. Majeed had a few gunshot wounds. Majeed told the police that he thought for days together on what to tell his parents before going to Iraq. During this time, the idea of joining a group of pilgrims for Baghdad came to his mind. He immediately began collecting information about it.

This is the best time to heal and cement their patriotism. The families of these misguided youth should be embraced with love by the Indian public. This is the only way we can create a safe and strong India. However, here it is important to know who motivated them to join the most cruel and barbaric terrorist organisation like ISIS. All his family members, teachers, moulvis, guides, financiers and close friends should be interrogated thoroughly. With Areeb Majeed’s return, parents of three of his friends who disappeared with him in Iraq are hopeful for the return of their sons. They have also demanded that the government should help them bring back their children.

It may be recalled that while leaving the country in May for a pilgrimage, one of the four youth had left behind a letter saying he was going to the land of Allah and that he would meet his family in Jannat (heaven).

Dr. Vaidehi Taman
Dr. Vaidehi is an Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and an Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. Since 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond the news (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which she caters for her sister-concern Kaizen-India Infosec Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

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