New Delhi, July 20 (IANS) After news of four Mumbai youths having reportedly flown to Iraq to join the jihadists there and many disaffected youth seeking visas to go there, Delhi Police has started searching for families whose members have gone to the Middle East and might have got ‘trapped’ into joining the Islamist militants.
Police sources said they have not ruled out the possibility of some youth having joined the militants in Iraq, though they have not come across any such complaint from any family so far.
Four youths from Kalyan, near Mumbai, have reportedly flown to Iraq to join the Sunni militia group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) which has announced the establishment of a Muslim Caliphate in the fairly large areas under its control.
Delhi Police is in touch with the external affairs ministry to get details of the youths who have gone to the Middle East over the past few years, said another source.
“If the ISIS has people from several foreign countries joining it, then India too could be a possibility. We have asked for information relating to people who went to these countries from the city,” a Delhi Police officer told IANS on condition of anonymity.
Police sources also apprehend that members of Pakistan-based terrorist groups like Indian Mujahideen might have tasked their members to join the jihadists in Iraq.
Without naming the wanted terrorists in India, a police officer told IANS that there was a “big probability” of such terrorists joining militant groups in Iraq.
“These are very hardcore terrorists and wanted in many blasts cases, including in Delhi,” the officer said.
Police have another fear – after fighting alongside the Al Qaeda-inspired ISIS, the Indian Mujahideen members might become “even more hardcore” and may strike in India after their return.
Special Commissioner of Police S.N. Srivastava said his force was on alert and ready to avert any terror situation in the capital.
“We are ready to avert any terror strike in the city. Our commandos and men are always on alert,” Srivastava told IANS.
The Indian Mujahideen is involved in serial bombings in Varanasi, Faizabad and Lucknow and the Delhi serial bombings of 2008.
A few days after the Delhi bombings, the police’s anti-terror squad, the Special Cell, had launched an encounter operation in south Delhi’s Jamia Nagar where suspected Indian Mujahideen members, who were allegedly involved in the bombings, were hiding inside a house.
(Alok Singh can be contacted at [email protected])