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How Haja Fakruddin ended up in Syria

July 28, 2014 12:17 IST

How Haja Fakruddin ended up in Syria

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Vicky Nanjappa/Rediff.com

Haja Fakruddin, a 37 year from Tamil Nadu, is one of ISIS's Indian fighters. Today, Indian intelligence agents tell Vicky Nanjappa/Rediff.com more Indians are ready to take the jihadi trip to Syria and Iraq.

Parangipettai, a trading hub in Tamil Nadu, has seen Arabs, the Portuguese, the Dutch and eventually the British arrive on its shores over the course of centuries.

This village, located on the Coromandel Coast, has now exported one of its sons to fight alongside the dreaded Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

In a phone call seven months ago, Haja Fakruddin told his parents that his dream had been fulfilled; that he had reached the land of Allah.

The 37 year old, who lives with his wife Ayesha and three children in Syria and posts frequently on Facebook with updates on jihad and the fighting in Syria and Iraq, is said to have lured other Indians to ISIS.

His father Usman told Rediff.com, "He knew he was the family's bread winner, but felt that contributing to the ISIS and living in an Islamic country was more important."

His parents tried to dissuade him against treading that path and thought they had succeeded. One day, he told them he was leaving for Singapore as he had found a job there. His parents were thrilled to hear the news.

But their world came crashing down when the telephone rang seven months ago.

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Image: Haja Fakruddin waves the ISIS flag.
Photographs: Courtesy Haja Fakruddin's Facebook page

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Vicky Nanjappa/Rediff.com

His destiny changed the day he came in contact with Gul Mohammad.

Mohammad, who was deported from Singapore for distributing jihadi literature among Indian Muslim youth, is reportedly responsible for young men from Kerala and Tamil Nadu joining the ISIS.

He would collect donations from them and once they were ready to join ISIS he arranged their entry into Singapore.

From Singapore, the recruits are flown to Syria and Iraq.

"There is a steady rise in the number of radicalised youth," an Indian intelligence agent told this correspondent. "All these youth stay in Singapore for at least four months. They arrive on a work permit and wait there before they are sent in batches to either Syria or Iraq."

"The ISIS is looking for people with technical knowhow from India," he added. "Many Indians work in ISIS's social media team."


Photographs: Courtesy Haja Fakruddin's Facebook page

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