Mumbai: Areeb Majeed, suspected member of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has claimed that the cadres of the terror outfit were initially suspicious about him and his three friends of being associated with security agencies and grilled them for hours before enrolling them as members, official sources said.
Majeed and his friends were recruited only after they fully convinced the cadres that all of them genuinely wanted to fight for the cause of ISIS, an officer privy to the probe said.
According to NIA sources, when Majeed and his three others-- Shaheen Tanki, Fahad Shaikh and Aman Tandel--reached Mosul in Iraq in May this year, they were questioned by one Ali, a senior cadre of the ISIS.
"The ISIS cadres had a doubt if we were associated with any security agencies. Their doubts were cleared after we answered their queries and convinced them that they really wanted to participate in the battle," Majeed told investigators.
"We were told that the ISIS group will not enroll people without any reference. However, we told them that we are ready to die in Iraq, but do not want return to India," the 22-year-old civil engineer told interrogators.
"Once we were enrolled, our names were changed. I was named Abu Ali Al Hindi, Shaheem was renamed as Abu Usman Al Hindi, Aman was named Abu Mar Al Hindi and Fahad was Abu Bakar Al Hindi," the accused told the investigators.
Majeed was arrested on Friday on his return to Mumbai after spending nearly six months in Iraq. He was booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) on charges of conspiring to commit a terror act and being a member of a banned foreign terror outfit, and under the stringent Section 125 of the IPC for "waging war against the nation".
In May this year, the four youths from Kalyan had left the country to visit holy places in West Asia, but disappeared thereafter. They were suspected to have joined the ISIS.
According to police, the four engineering students had flown to Baghdad on May 23 as part of a group of 22 pilgrims to visit religious shrines in Iraq.