NEW DELHI: A little over two weeks after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited United Arab Emirates, five suspected Islamic State operatives of Indian origin have been deported from Abu Dhabi and are being extensively interrogated by central intelligence agencies.
One of them has been identified as Rehan Abidi, a native of Uttar Pradesh, while two belong to Mumbai and two are from Chennai. Top intelligence sources said that all of them are in the age-group of 20 to 25 years and know each other. “The UAE intelligence agencies had intercepted their communication in which they were discussing their plans to recruit more and carry out Jehad against India. They were in touch with senior leaders of Islamic State,” said an officer.
“The five boys did Umrah (Islamic pilgrimage) at the age of 18 or 19 years and have strong religious beliefs,” said an officer, while asserting that this is probably the largest ever deportation of IS suspects in a week’s time from a gulf country.
A few Kerala and Tamil Nadu-based IS operatives were deported last year from Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Turkey but they were wanted in different cases already being probed by investigating agencies.
“Rehan Abidi and his friends are being questioned about their associates in India and their plans. It is not yet known which IS module in India they were part of but UAE authorities detained them for almost three months on the basis of strong evidence suggesting their association with the global terror outfit,” said an officer.
The agencies refused to divulge names of four suspects other than Rehan Abidi.
PM Modi had met UAE president Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan on his state visit in February during which both sides discussed cooperation in the field of counter terrorism.