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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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Will India be able to get hold of Zakir Naik? India to now seek Interpol’s help locating the Controversial Islamic Televangelist

Naik, 51, came under the Indian government’s radar after Bangladesh media reported that at least two perpetrators of a terrorist attack at Dhaka’s Holey Artisan Bakery café, where 20 hostages were killed in July 2016, were influenced by his sermons

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Zakir Naik
Controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik speaks to Indian journalists in Mumbai during a video conference, July 15, 2016. Benar News

Mumbai, October 29, 2017 : India plans to ask Interpol to help track down Zakir Naik, an Islamic preacher accused of making inflammatory speeches that inspired attackers at a Bangladesh café in July 2016, an official said Friday, one day after the cleric was charged with inciting communal hatred.

In a charge-sheet filed in a Mumbai court late Thursday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) alleged that televangelist Zakir Naik was involved in a criminal conspiracy to foment terrorism and hatred among religious communities by lauding terrorist outfits.

The 61-page document viewed by BenarNews also accused Naik’s now-forbidden Mumbai-based NGO Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) and his company Harmony Media Pvt. Ltd. (HMPL) of forwarding his agenda.

Naik, 51, came under the Indian government’s radar after Bangladesh media reported that at least two perpetrators of a terrorist attack at Dhaka’s Holey Artisan Bakery café, where 20 hostages were killed in July 2016, were influenced by his sermons.

ALSO READ NIA to file Chargesheet against Controversial Islamic Preacher Zakir Naik

“We are already preparing papers to get him deported back to India,” an NIA official told BenarNews on condition of anonymity. Naik, who left the country in June 2016, is believed to be traveling between the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia.

Meanwhile, the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) president on Friday defended Naik against the charge sheet filed in India, the Malay Mail reported.

“For Muslim individuals, even when they won by using arguments and not weapons, like Dr. Zakir Naik, they are considered terrorists because their arguments cannot be countered,” Hadi said in an opinion piece on Islamophobia published in Harakah Daily.

Naik had been scheduled to appear at a PAS-organized gathering of Muslim scholars in Malaysia’s Kelantan state in July, but cancelled after India revoked his passport.

Arrest warrant issued in April

In April, the Mumbai court issued a so-called non-bailable arrest warrant against Naik after he repeatedly ignored summons issued by India’s Enforcement Directorate to appear to respond to allegations of misuse of foreign funds donated to his NGO.

The Indian government imposed a five-year ban on IRF in November 2016, citing violations by the NGO under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act and the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

“Since the money-laundering case against Naik hinged on the NIA investigation, it was necessary that the agency filed its charge-sheet,” public prosecutor Hiten Venegaonkar told BenarNews.

The NIA’s charge-sheet will allow the agency to approach Interpol for assistance and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can then initiate the process of bringing Naik back, Venegaonkar said.

ALSO READ Enforcement Directorate (ED) files Money Laundering Case against controversial Preacher Zakir Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation

The NIA accused Zakir Naik of praising late al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, supporting suicide attacks and denouncing Hindu gods during sermons delivered through Peace TV. The channel partly funded by the IRF is banned in several countries, including India and Bangladesh.

The NIA has “firmly established that the incriminating public speeches have been in circulation through electronic media such as CD/DVD and web portals Facebook/YouTube etc.,” the charge-sheet said.

“The minutes of IRF board of trustees’ meeting disclose that IRF has approved, organized, promoted and funded public lectures of accused Zakir Naik, including his incriminating speeches. The seized material such as DVD and books list IRF as the publisher,” it said.

The agency also established the role of HMPL in editing the incriminating material and “forwarding [Naik’s] speeches to the Global Broadcast Corporation Dubai for broadcast in the Peace TV.”

“The derogatory and malicious remarks were not just confined to faiths and beliefs of Hindus or Christians but also included non-Wahabi Muslims, particularly Shia, Sufi and Barelwis,” the NIA said.

The charge-sheet cited cases of several youths who were allegedly influenced by Naik’s sermons and attempted to join the Islamic State.

The accused “never included any reference to alternative interpretations by Muslim scholars of the views he presented nor sought to mitigate the potential offence by providing sufficient context for his remarks,” it said.

Lawyer prepared to challenge extradition

Zakir Naik’s lawyer S. Hariharan said he would wait to decide the next course of action.

“I have yet to receive the charge-sheet. Although as per protocol the charge-sheet is handed to the accused. But in this case, the accused is not present in the country,” Hariharan told Benarnews without divulging Naik’s current location.

“We will most certainly be seeking discharge after we receive the charge-sheet and will also challenge demands for extradition,” he added. (Benar News)