Indian Jihadist Quits Islamic State Over Bad Pay And Menial Tasks
Areeb Majeed's pictures on a Facebook page allegedly maintained by "wife" Tahira
NEW DELHI: An Islamic State (IS) recruit, Areeb Majeed, from Kalyan city in India was intercepted and questioned in Turkey. Majeed is alleged to have killed 55 people for the militant group, but said that he left in protest of bad pay and the insistence on doing menial tasks such as cleaning toilets.
India’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), National Investigation Agency (NIA) and Intelligence Bureau (IB) officials all arrived in Istanbul to question Majeed and take him into custody, according to an official quoted by Indian paper Mid-Day.
According to an NIA official quoted by a leading Indian newspaper, Majeed said that although he did receive training, Islamic State commanders considered Indians physically weak. Instead of being deployed into the battlefield, Majeed said that he was made to clean toilets and provide water to other militants.
The 23 year old reportedly added that his enthusiasm for the battlefield waned after he suffered a gun wound that was not tended to for three days. “Only after I begged them, I was taken to a hospital. I was treating myself, but the injury was worsening as there was no proper medication or food available in the camps,” Majeed reportedly told investigators.
Majeed reportedly provided the names of India-based contacts who “who radicalized him and his three other friends here, and helped them fly to Iraq.”
“We are verifying his claims and are trying to locate these local contacts,” an official quoted by the newspaper said.
There are however, already conflicting reports emerging regarding Majeed joining and working with IS.
“He is suspected to have killed around 55 people as part of ISIS and he returned because he was not paid by the terrorist group,” a senior IB official told Mid-Day.
Other media reports suggest the opposite. Citing anonymous source, the Hindustan Times pointed to the fact the Majeed’s homecoming to India is for a purpose other than dissatisfaction, as the IS allegedly gave him $2,000 to cover treatment for injuries received during fighting in Iraq.
“During combat, he was shot in the chest while a second bullet grazed him. When a medical facility where he was being treated was destroyed in an air raid, he crossed over to Turkey,” an unnamed central counter-terror officer said. Majeed then contacted his family to discuss his return home.
“We have reason to suspect what Majeed has told us so far. Not only was he given money by IS fighters, he was allowed to leave territory controlled by them. It is quite possible he may have contacted his father on their instructions. We need to verify and re-verify all his claims. That’s why the NIA was allowed to register a case against him,” the official quoted by HT said.
Majeed reportedly joined IS after visiting “more than 20,000” jihadi websites while living in Kalyan, according to DNA.
“Majeed has told his interrogators the IS does all its recruitment online. Its spotters visit jihadi websites and contact possible candidates through social media. That was how he was spotted,” the Hindustan Times said quoting an officer.
Majeed, then, along with three friends decided to travel to Iraq. Reports suggest that the IS contact paid for their travel, under the guise of a pilgrimage trip to Iraq.
According to reports the four men arrived in Baghdad end of May, from where they were taken to Fallujah and stationed at a training camp.