From polytechnic to Islamic State – The journey of Akhlaq-ur-Rehman

Akhlaq-ur-Rehman, a youngster who was arrested with three others for their alleged plans to carry out attacks in Haridwar, was approached by the Islamic State following a Facebook post by him on Babri demolition case.

Updated: Jan 22, 2016, 12:07 PM IST
From polytechnic to Islamic State – The journey of Akhlaq-ur-Rehman
Pic Courtesy: Facebook

New Delhi: Even as the government and intelligence agencies are trying hard to find ways to monitor and scuttle terrorist outfit Islamic State's nefarious designs to carry out more anti-India activities, the dreaded organisation continues to use social media to trap more and more misguided Indian youths.

A report published in the ToI on Friday has shed more light on Islamic State's alleged terrorist activities, its modus operandi and its plans to increase its outreach among Indian youngsters to persuade them to join jihad.

As per the report, Akhlaq-ur-Rehman, a youngster who was arrested along with three others for their alleged plans to carry out attacks during the famous Ardh Kumbh mela in Haridwar, was approached by the Islamic State after he posted his comments on the Babri Masjid demolition on social-networking site Facebook.

Interestingly, when Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992, Rehman was a college student in a polytechnic in Roorkee.

Apparently upset with the incident, he vent his anger on Facebook and wrote a hard-hitting piece on Babri demolition, which he also shared on various social media platforms.

His post on Babri issue was very well received by netizens and generated a lot of buzz on social media. However, this was not the end of the story.

A day after he had posted on Facebook, he received a message in his Inbox from Yousufal-Hindi, who claimed to be an Islamic preacher. Praising Akhlaq as a 'daring intellectual', Yousuf invited him to a chat to 'channelise' his anger in the 'right direction'.

Akhlaq had by then begun to discuss global issues with Yousuf.

He was also made to feel that he was wasting his time at the polytechnic and that he was made for bigger things, as per the report.

He was later asked to fight for Islam and Islamic State in Syria to which an overjoyed Akhlaq immediately agreed. He was also asked to get like-minded friends who were willing to die for jihad and Islam.

As per the investigators, Akhlaq's friends - Osama, Ajiz and Mehraj – soo agreed and they too underwent a similar exercise of indoctrination.

Last year when the beef ban controversy generated much heat, Yousuf used it as a tool to convince his friends that such issues were actually part of an organised plan by Hindu extremists to target Islam and Muslims.