New Delhi: In what appears to be a case of mistaken identity, some Indians have reportedly contacted a pro-democracy Arab Spring activist named Iyad El-Baghdadi to ask him how they could join the Islamic State (IS).
According to a report in Indian Express, the name confusion springs from the fact that the real ISIS leader’s name is quite similar - Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
In a tweet on Tuesday evening, Iyad, a Palestine-born UAE citizen who has been living in Norway under asylum, asked how he could get in touch with Indian authorities to report these people.
“If I get emails from India-based accounts asking how to join ISIS, who in India do I report them to?” Iyad tweeted.
Indian intelligence agencies have taken note of the tweet and are in touch with Iyad El-Baghdadi to get more information. “We have taken cognizance of it and are trying to get more information and verify the same,” a senior intelligence officer was quoted as saying.
The Mumbai Police Twitter handle also thanked El-Baghdadi and promised to look into the matter.
According to the report, action can be taken against those who emailed Baghdadi only after the contents of the emails are known, as well as whether the accused actually intended to join Islamic State in Iraq or Syria. In essence, it has to be established that the emails are not pranks.
Intelligence agencies however said that a similar message was sent out by Iyad a month and half ago. At that time, he seemed to have some issue understanding the languages he had received messages in. But the probe did not lead anywhere.
But this is not even the second time the Arab Spring activist has faced trouble because of his name. In December 2015, Iyad had claimed that Twitter suspended his account @iyad_elbaghdadi. While Twitter had refrained from commenting on the issue, Iyad had accused it of “racism”....