Kerala police arrest man from Thane for alleged IS links


A team of Kerala police and the Maharashtra anti-terrorist squad (ATS) have arrested a man from Kalyan in Thane for being part of a group that allegedly radicalised and recruited youth to undertake terrorist activities, officials said on Saturday.
Rizwan Khan will be produced before a court in Thane and Kerala police will seek a transit remand on Saturday.
This is the second arrest by Kerala police, who have been camping in Mumbai since a week, in the last few days.
On Thursday, Kerala police arrested 45-year-old Arshid Qureshi, a public relation manager with controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation, from Navi Mumbai for allegedly radicalising youth and recruiting them to Islamic State.
Qureshi’s name surfaced after Kochi Police registered a complaint against Yahya alias Bestin Vincent, a Christian from Palakkad who converted to Islam and is believed to have joined IS. Yahya went missing from Kochi along with his wife Merin Jacob alias Mariyam.
The complaint was registered by Merin’s brother Ebin Jacob. The Jacobs hail from a Christian family at Edapally in Kochi.
Kerala police sources said they questioned Khan earlier after they found his signature on the conversion and marriage certificates of Bestin and Merin. Khan was let off after the questioning because the team did not have concrete evidence against him.
Khan’s role in the entire process of indoctrination came through after Qureshi was arrested and questioned. Police sources said Khan’s signature in the conversion and marriage certificates of Vincent and Merin matched which led to his arrest.
Jacob said in his complaint that Merin met Yahya while she was working in Mumbai in 2015, and their relationship culminated into marriage.
Sources in Kerala police said during Merin’s stay in Mumbai, Yahya along with Qureshi influenced, radicalised and converted her to Islam. Merin tried to initially resist but was taken to various classes following which she converted, they added.
Jacob said Yahya and Qureshi then forced Merin to join IS, which she initially resisted and wanted to come back to Kerala. He also alleged that Yahya and Qureshi even tried to convert him to Islam.
Merin’s parents alleged that both Yahya and Merin met controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik in Mumbai, and were radicalised through him.

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