These Kerala Families Fear Their Missing Relatives May Have Joined ISIS

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These Kerala Families Fear Their Missing Relatives May Have Joined ISIS

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Eight members of this man's family in Kerala are believed to have been radicalised by ISIS.

Kozhikode: 

Highlights

  1. Kerala Chief Minister has directed the police to investigate the matter
  2. 11 people, including a couple with their kids, are missing from Kasaragod
  3. All missing men communicate with their families largely on Telegram app
Inside a lavish house in Kerala's Kasaragod, there is a worrisome silence between detailed discussions. A mother hasn't eaten much in the last few days. Her 66-year-old husband is scared for his sons who may have joined the terror group ISIS, but is putting on a bold face.

They fear that their two sons, along with their pregnant wives and a two-year-old have been radicalised by ISIS. But that's not it. They believe that six others in their family, all under the ages of 35, may too have joined the terrorist organization.

"We have reached Islamic State," the father recalls the last message he got, believed to be from one his 34-year-old son a couple of days ago on Telegram app. "We have gone to study Quran, we are not terrorists," read a second message received on Saturday, believed to be from his missing nephew.

"They were not in touch with us. Very rarely they would send a message. Slowly we realised there are other young people missing and there was a common pattern in their behaviour. Our son later told us that everyone is together. We are very sad that they went there. We need to save them and that's why we went to the chief minister. We are scared that they are trapped," said Paramban Abdul Raheem, one of the members of the family.

16 young men and women from Kerala are missing and their families - suspecting them to have joined ISIS - have reached out to the police for help.

A couple from Palakkad says their two sons converted from Christianity into Islam a year back and got married. And after the parents shifted to Sri Lanka, the children rarely kept in touch.

"But on Eid, I got a strange message. If anyone asks you about us, just tell them we are in Sri Lanka," said the mother. In a similar complaint filed in Thiruvananthapuram, the mother said, "She converted from Hinduism into Islam and married a Muslim she knew for less than a week." The girl is missing since.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said, "These allegations are very serious and needs to be investigated in detail. It is being done."

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