IS recruit from Kerala killed in drone attack

IS recruit from Kerala killed in drone attack

A suspected Islamic State (IS) recruit from Padne in Kasaragod district has been killed in a drone attack, according to a message received by his mother on Sunday.

“Hafees was killed by a drone strike yesterday. We consider him to be a shuhada (martyr) and Allah knows best,” a message on social media app Telegram read. The sender of the messages identified himself as Ashfaq Majeed, one among the 21 people — including T K Hafeesuddin (24) — who went missing from Kasaragod and Palakkad in July 2016.

Unconfirmed reports suggested that they had joined the IS. Late in 2016, the youths were reportedly located in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. The National Investigation Agency is probing the case of the missing youths. Kasaragod MP P Karunakaran told DH that no further details of the ‘death’ were available.

According to Mohammed Aslam, member of the Padne gram panchayat, Majeed, also a native of Padne, used to text members of Hafeesuddin’s family “once in a while” to pass on basic information about him. Hafeesuddin’s mother is learnt to have received the messages around 8 am on Sunday. The sender informed her that Hafeesuddin had been buried.

“We are waiting for our turn,” another message read. Later, the same messages were received by another family member of Hafeesuddin. “Senior police officials, including the SP, have been informed about the messages and some of them are already at Hafeesuddin’s home to gather more details,” Aslam told DH.

Some members of the missing group, which included six women and children, have been using Telegram to reach out to their families back home. Majeed had in July last year contacted his sister and uncle via the mobile app.

Hafeesuddin had shown an increasing affinity towards spiritualism and rejected certain aspects followed by his family terming them materialistic, before leaving home. Aslam quoted some of Hafeesuddin’s family members as saying that Majeed had to travel “a long way” to access mobile phones.

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