Cops suspect 15 more men from Mumbra, Bhiwandi may have joined Iraq jihad
The Mumbai police have zeroed in on a small-time businessman suspected to be the brain behind the radicalization of the four Mumbai men who are believed to have joined jihad in Iraq and Syria.
Adil Dolare, 35, who works with the Islamic Guidance Centre in Kalyan and had organised the tour to Baghdad from where the four never returned, used to meet them every evening at Kalyan’s Don Chowk.
The investigators, meanwhile, have expanded their probe and identified 15 more men from Mumbra and Bhiwandi who may have joined the four from Kalyan in Baghdad and enlisted with the Sunni insurgent group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Dorale and the four reported missing from Kalyan – Arif Fayyaz Majeed, Fahad Tanvir Sheikh, Aman Naim Tandel and Saheen Farooqi Tanki – are all residents of Bazar Peth and spent considerable time together.
Dolare, who also runs a business in Navi Mumbai, often delivered talks on Islam in religious institutions.
Islamic Guidance Centre through Rahat Tours and Travels had booked Arif, Fahad, Aman and Shaheen with 37 others on a sevenday tour of Baghdad. The group’s air tickets were bought by Akbar Tours and Travels.
The group left Mumbai on May 25 and returned on June 1. Arif, Fahad, Aman, and Saheen, however, stayed back. On May 26, Arif’s father filed a missing complaint with the Kalyan police and produced a note written by his son expressing his desire to join jihad. Arif’s father was followed by the families of Fahad, Aman and Saheen, who filed their complaints on May 29 and 30.
Investigators have so far not come across any links between Dorale and the 15 men from Mumbra and Bhiwandi, who too, just like the four from Kalyan, left Mumbai on a pilgrimage to Baghdad on May 25, but did not return.
Cops now know that around 250 people left for Baghdad on May 25 from Mumbai and 19 of them did not return. They all flew from Mumbai to Dubai and then to Istanbul and Iraq.
Airport CCTV footage has revealed that the four from Kalyan collected their boarding passes from different counters and none of them was carrying any bags.
The Intelligence Bureau, the Maharashtra ATS, and the Thane police’s Special Branch launched independent probes after Arif’s father lodged the missing complaint.
The families of the other three came forward with their complaints only after the cops approached them armed with the information provided by Arif’s father.
The note which Arif left behind is not addressed to anyone in particular. It is more in the form of his idea of Islam and how the religion should be followed.
The note does admonish those who listen to music and watch television. He also frowns upon women who don’t wear a veil and work with men.