For The First Time, NIA Books Case Against Terrorists Not Belonging To IS; Accused Hail From Kerala, Karnataka

Eight men from Kerala and Karnataka have joined Jabat al-Nusra, a former al-Qaeda outfit in Syria, states an official from National Investigation Agency, reports The Hindu.

NIA has begun investigations and a case has already been registered. It's the first time NIA has booked a case against Indians for joining a terrorist outfit, apart from the Islamic State in Syria.

A senior NIA official said the accused had travelled from Syria to Qatar. “We have information that the accused travelled to Syria in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Some of them died after participating in battles, and some are still alive.”

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While probing a case registered initially by Kerala Police in October 2017, information about the suspects joining al-Nusra and its sub-unit Jund al-Aqsa emerged.

The accused are identified as Midhilaj, Rashid MV, Abdul Razak KV., Manaf Rahman and Hamsa UK. All hail from Kannur district, with Hamsa being the mastermind of the group.

Hamsa revealed that he had information about some Indian men joining the Nusra front in Syria. Hamsa was trying to exit India to join IS in December 2016, when he was caught in Mangalore airport.

Kannur has been a hotbed of terrorist recruiting, with 10 people joining IS last December too.

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