Missing Mumbai youth, 'suspected' to have joined ISIS, detained in Pune

Abdul Wajid Shaikh (25), who was missing from Mumbai’s Malwani area amid speculations that, he along with a few others, may have left homes to join ISIS, was traced by the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) in Pune on Tuesday late evening.

The ATS Pune unit, on Tuesday, around 10 pm detained him in Wakad near the Pune-Mumbai expressway. Recently, the three youths from Malwani had gone missing from the area.

The ATS suspects that the youths were in contact with Islami State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and left their homes and family to join the terror organisation.

An ATS officer from Pune, speaking to mid-day on condition of anonymity, confirmed, “We have detained Wajid Shaikh in Wakad and will be sending him to Mumbai for further investigations and inquiry. For the last three days, we were working and shadowing his movement. After confirming his identity and tracing his suspicious movements, we nailed him.”

Shaikh is married, and worked in call centre. He had gone missing from his home, after stating that he had some visa work and wanted changes in his Aadhar card, on December 16. His father is Pakistani and mother is from India. “ATS Mumbai will inquire and probe the case and his role in ISIS will be clear,” added the officer.

Notably, in May last year, four youths from Kalyan township in neighbouring Thane district had gone to Syria to join the IS. One of them, Areeb Majeed, returned and is currently in NIA custody while the whereabouts of the other three were not yet known.

Besides, a Pune-based 16-year-old Muslim girl, who was reportedly radicalised by her IS contacts abroad and brain-washed to go to Syria, was questioned by ATS sleuths earlier this month and sent to a de-radicalisation programme.

(With PTI inputs)

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