Monday, April 13, 2015



                       ISLAMIC STATE COMES NEARER


                           INDIAN SHORES
                               Praveen Swami


 From Kerala Family to Ex-Gangster, IS pulls Maldives Men

From Kerala family to ex-gangster, IS pulls Maldives men: Shameem (red T-shirt) and Rahim (centre) at Male airport on their way to join Islamic State© Provided by Indian Express Shameem (red T-shirt) and Rahim (centre) at Male airport on their way to join Islamic State 
Late last year, Fathullah Jamil decided he’d had enough — of days that began before dawn, calling believers to prayer at the mosque; evenings spent negotiating a taxi through the sweltering streets; and nights spent in an airless one-room home. The children had moved to West Asia, and had been calling their parents to join them. Jamil sold the taxi, and caught a flight to Thiruvananthapuram to pick up his ailing Indian-born wife, Shah Bano.
Had intelligence officials in Kerala not intervened, the elderly couple would by now have been spending their retirement in the Islamic State — home to their three half-Indian, Thiruvananthapuram-educated sons, along with their wives and children.

The Maldives advertises its stunning island resorts as an earthly paradise, but intelligence services are increasingly concerned at the number of its citizens who are seeking the afterlife  { read  56  hoors in Jaahnaatmarketed by Islamists.

Indian and Western services estimate up to 200 Maldives citizens, out of a tiny population of 359,000, may now be in Iraq and Syria — the highest by far, in population-adjusted terms, of any country in the world.

The Maldives government says it can confirm 57 people have made the journey, while the Islamic State and its al-Qaeda affiliated rival, al-Nusra, have released at least seven obituaries for Maldivians killed in combat.

Death Threats, Attacks

Inside the Maldives, too, secular writers and activists are facing a growing tide of death threats —- sometimes backed up by lethal attacks.

Former jihadist-turned-secular writer Ahmed Rilwan, who disappeared last year, is thought to have been murdered by Islamist-linked street gangs. Hilath Rasheed, another writer and democratic rights activsts, lives in exile in Sri Lanka after his throat was slashed in a near-fatal attack.

“There’s a growing culture of violence against dissidents from the religious right-wing and the perpetrators are enjoying complete impunity,” said writer Yameen Rasheed.

Male’s powerful street gangs — in turn, linked to heroin cartels and protection rackets — are providing soldiers for the new Islamist army.
 Photographs obtained by The Indian Express show Rasheed’s alleged attacker, former gang member Ismail Rahim, travelling to Syria as part of a group organised by leading Islamist ideologue Adam Shameem. Like dozens of other former gang members, Rahim embraced neo-fundamentalist Islam in prison, seeing jihad as atonement for his past sins.


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