Chennai: The custodial interrogation of an ISIS sympathiser from the city had revealed the role of at least 14 others being involved in the Chennai module; of them four could be college students. The suspect Mohamed Iqbal (32) was planning to take the Schengen route to join the fight in Syria in support of ISIS and was making arrangements.
Iqbal, presently in the custody of the Anti-Terror-Squad (ATS) Jaipur, is also being quizzed by other central agencies and the internal security agency from the State.
“Mohamed Iqbal had collected money to be sent to Syria from here on instructions from ISIS handler Abu Saad Al-Sudani that were received through KiK Messenger. Iqbal’s messenger ids — TravelHaq and Travel2Haq — were deleted just before he was arrested with smuggled gold bars.
Iqbal had routed his money to China through his agent with trade links to that country and from there it was moved to Bosnia before it landed in the coffers of ISIS. He made similar ‘Hawala’ transactions to Dubai from where the money was routed to Syria through Jameel Ahmed who works as accounts manager with a private firm in Dubai besides doubling up as the ISIS handler. Iqbal had named the two persons who helped him complete the ‘Hawala’ transactions.
Earlier, in 2015, Iqbal had made a payment to process his Iran visa,” an investigation officer privy to the quizzing told Deccan Chronicle.
The cops suspect that his visa for Iran might have been used as a front to mislead the investigating agencies about his allegiance.
He had made telegraphic transfer of Rs 8,098 (the then equivalent to 90 euros) to the account of www.key2persia.com, a private travels agency, on September 23, 2015 to process the visa application. He, however, did not appear before the Iran embassy in Hyderabad in the scheduled time.
He was also in touch with another ISIS handler Abu Osama Al-Somali. Jameel Ahmed acted as a channel between Iqbal – his links down the chain and ISIS handlers.
Ahmed’s arrest by the ATS Jaipur in November revealed his links with Iqbal.
On February 4, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) arrested Iqbal, resident of Bazar Lane, Mylapore, in Arambakkam near Gummidipoondi along with 3 others, with 20-foreign-marked-gold bars, worth nearly Rs 1 crore, and was lodged in Puzhal prison.