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Kuwait man held for funding Indian Islamic State sympathisers

An NIA officer told IANS that Abdullah Hadi Abdul Rahman Al-Enezi was arrested by Kuwait authorities for sending $1,000 to alleged IS recruit Areeb Majeed and his three associates while they were staying in Iraq in May 2014.

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Kuwaiti national arrested for having ISIS link. Image Source: www.india.com
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  • An NIA officer told IANS that Abdullah Hadi Abdul Rahman Al-Enezi was arrested by Kuwait authorities for sending $1,000 to alleged IS recruit Areeb Majeed and his three associates while they were staying in Iraq in May 2014
  • Majeed, a civil engineer by training, was the first Indian graduate from terror group IS’ training school as a fidayeen or suicide bomber
  • The officer said that Kuwait authorities have now arrested Al-Enezi, who has revealed that he had sent the $1,000 to Majeed through Western Union which was later used by him and his three associates to facilitate their travel to Syria

A 32-year-old man who allegedly funded Islamic State (IS) sympathisers in India has been arrested in Kuwait, based on a tip off by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), an officer said on Saturday.

An NIA officer told IANS that Abdullah Hadi Abdul Rahman Al-Enezi was arrested by Kuwait authorities for sending $1,000 to alleged IS recruit Areeb Majeed and his three associates while they were staying in Iraq in May 2014.

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Majeed, a resident of Panvel in Maharashtra, left Mumbai along with four friends on May 24, 2014. He returned in November that year and has been in custody since. He is being prosecuted for several offences.

Areeb Majeed. Image Source: Indian Express
Areeb Majeed. Image Source: Indian Express

Majeed, a civil engineer by training, was the first Indian graduate from terror group IS’ training school as a fidayeen or suicide bomber.

The arrested IS sympathiser had informed investigators that while he and three other IS sympathisers were in Iraq in early 2014, they had asked their IS handler for some money to go to Syria, following which Al-Enezi sent $ 1,000 to them from Kuwait.

“The NIA had earlier sent a mutual legal assistance request to Kuwait in the Areeb Majeed case in respect of transfer of $1,000 by Kuwaiti national Al-Enezi to him,” the NIA officer said.

The officer said that Kuwait authorities have now arrested Al-Enezi, who has revealed that he had sent the $1,000 to Majeed through Western Union which was later used by him and his three associates to facilitate their travel to Syria.

NIA arrests Areeb Majeed. Image Source: Indian Express
NIA arrests Areeb Majeed. Image Source: Indian Express

Al-Enezi informed Kuwaiti authorities that he has been involved in financing of terrorism after his return from Pakistan in 2013, the officer said. He also supported terrorist organisations.

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Sources said that an NIA team is likely to travel to Kuwait to question Al-Enezi. (IANS)

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  • AJ Krish

    There are so many people who fund IS. It shouldn’t stop with just one.

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Civilians Who Fled Afrin Suffer from Dire Humanitarian Conditions

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People sit in a truck with their belongings in the north east of Afrin, Syria, March 15, 2018. VOA

Thousands of civilians who fled the city of Afrin are enduring dire conditions after they reached Syrian-controlled areas south of the Afrin district.

“More than 2,000 people reached the towns of Nubl and Zahraa from Afrin in the past 24 hours, raising the number of total civilians in the two towns to 16,000. Many are suffering from tragic conditions,” according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights website.

Turkish media announced the control of Afrin on Sunday, after the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) withdrew from the city and thousands of civilians were evacuated — 59 days after the launch of Operation Olive Branch, the Turkish military operation in Afrin.

ALSO READ: Refugees in India Looming For Basic Rights: Here Is Why India Needs Refugee Law!

The Observatory said Nubl and Zahraa were struggling to provide shelter and food for the large numbers of displaced people pouring into the towns.

Sumama Al-Ashkar, a journalist in Nubl and Zahraa, told VOA that people were residing in houses, mosques, schools, public halls and warehouses.

“The civilians in Nubl and Zahraa are able to get some aid and services, but those who went to Tal Rifat in northern Aleppo are struggling to survive,” he said.

ALSO READ: Gulf, West grapple with Syrian refugee crisis

The U.S. State Department issued a statement on Monday expressing deep concern about reports coming from the predominantly Kurdish city in the past 48 hours.

“It appears the majority of the population of the city … evacuated under threat of attack from Turkish military forces and Turkish-backed opposition forces. This adds to the already concerning humanitarian situation in the area, with United Nations agencies reporting a displaced population in or from Afrin district in the hundreds of thousands, who now require immediate shelter and other assistance to meet basic needs,” the statement said.

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Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army soldiers walk in city center of Afrin, northwestern Syria, March 18, 2018. VOA

Destruction and looting

A number of reports circulated in the media said Turkish-backed forces were destroying and looting public and private properties after they entered the city.

The Afrin media center said once the Turkish-backed fighters reached the town center, they destroyed a statue placed in the center of the city that represents Kurdish cultural figure Kawa the Ironsmith.

“Kawa the Ironsmith is a major historical symbol for the Kurdish people, as it is linked to the most important Middle Eastern holiday, the Nawruz,” Afrin Media Center said.

Footage coming from Afrin also showed Turkish-backed fighters pillaging homes, shops and military sites amidst chaos. They were seen carrying food, electronic devices, civilian cars, farmers’ tractors and livestock.

Members of the Syrian opposition condemned the looting and destruction of the city and called for holding the looters responsible for their acts.

The General Military Staff of the Syrian Interim Government, an alternative government of the Syrian opposition, issued a statement Monday calling for the Turkey-backed Syrian rebels to protect civilians and their properties, and to respect religious and ethnic installations in Afrin.

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Turkish soldiers, positioned in the city center of Afrin, northwestern Syria, March 19, 2018, a day after they took the control of the area. VOA

In a comment to CNN, Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for Erdogan, did not deny the reports of looting but said the actions were committed by some groups who disobeyed their commanders. He said reports were being investigated.

Guerilla war

On Sunday, Kurdish leader Saleh Muslim told ANF, the Kurdish News Agency, that the fight in Afrin entered a new phase, where the YPG and the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) will continue to resist in the district.

Muslim added that the civilians had to leave the city for their own protection and vowed to step up the fight.

“The existence of civilians in the city will impose a challenge for our fighters. Our enemy kills civilians and strikes hospitals, and since the Turkish offensive started, civilians were targeted. Now, the war will continue in a different way after civilians left the city,” Muslim said.

A number of humanitarian organizations and civil society groups working north and east of Syria, including the Kurdish Red Crescent, issued a joint statement calling on the international community to act.

“We plea to the international community to intervene immediately to stop these attacks and let the refugees return to their homes, protect their possessions and civil rights, and deliver aid to thousands of people [who] fled this war,” the statement said Monday. VOA