Kerala youth who had allegedly joined al-Qaeda, killed in Syria

Kerala youth who had allegedly joined al-Qaeda, killed in Syria

Kerala youth who had allegedly joined al-Qaeda, killed in Syria

A youth from Kerala’s Palakkad district who had allegedly joined al-Qaeda was killed in the April 6 US strike in Syria, reports said on Sunday. Members of the family of Abu Tahir are learnt to have received a voice message from an unconfirmed source regarding his death.

Television reports said one of Tahir’s relatives in Qatar who received the message, passed the information on to his family members in Palakkad. Tahir had interned with a newspaper in Palakkad before he left India, in 2013, and is learnt to have informed relatives that he was shifting to Saudi Arabia where his father lived.

After remaining untraced for a few months, he announced through social media that he had joined al-Qaeda. Police and intelligence agencies are reported to have been informed about the voice message even as official confirmation of the death is awaited.

The reports on Tahir’s death come a day after another Keralite, also from Palakkad, who had joined the Islamic State – Bestin Vincent alias Yahya – was reported killed in Afghanistan. The news of his death is learnt to have been sent through social media app Telegram, by one of the other IS recruits.

Yahya was among the 22 people who went missing from Kasaragod and Palakkad last year and were reportedly stationed in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. Two other suspected IS recruits, both from Kasaragod -- T K Hafeesuddin and Murshid Mohammed -- were reported dead in Afghanistan in February and earlier this month.