Bengaluru: “My son, Ismail Musab Abdul Rawoof, has studied only up to class eighth and he is computer illiterate. He carries a simple mobile phone, which does not have internet facility. How can he chat online with ISIS members? What is ISIS,” asks a distraught Abdul Rawoof, father of Ismail, who was detained on Tuesday evening for alleged ISIS links.
The Intelligence Bureau (IB) and National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested Ismail at the Pune International Airport, for alleged links with Daesh (ISIS) – the banned terror organization – when he was about to board an (IX) Air India (211) flight to Dubai from where according to the agencies he had allegedly planned to go to Syria.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle from Bhatkal, Rawoof said that he received a call from Ismail at 1.10 am on Wednesday.
“He told me that he was detained by the immigration officials at the Pune International Airport after they found a meat dish in his hand baggage and they wanted to test it as they suspected that it could be beef and beef is banned in Maharashtra. He said that he would go to Mumbai. I haven’t heard from my son since then,” said an emotionally charged parent.
He said that on Tuesday evening, two policemen came to their residence in Darul Zakwan, Ayesha Masjid compound, Aminuddin Road to inquire if Ismail was his son. “I told them that he was my eldest son and that he had gone to Dubai to look for a job,” said Rawoof.
Ismail is married and has two children. “He doesn’t live with us, but visits us very often. He had gone to Dubai before he got married. He wanted to try his luck again there,” he said.
When asked why Ismail went to Pune to board a flight to Dubai, his father said that the airfares from Bengaluru and Mangaluru were more expensive than from Pune and he decided to fly from Pune.
“He had taken a bus to Pune on Monday (April 4). I saw him off. I don’t know where he is. My son is innocent. I know the police will let him off, because he has not done any wrong. Nobody has called me yet,” said Rawoof.
He rubbished the claim that Ismail was planning to go to Syria.
“Ismail is the eldest of the four children. He was working in Dubai as a labourer and had returned to Bhatkal for his marriage. He wanted to return to Dubai for a better income,” said a local resident.
Meanwhile, sources in the NIA said that Ismail was being questioned by multiple Central agencies at an undisclosed place. “He has not been arrested so far,” said an officer on condition of anonymity.