The Hyderabad police are in for sleepless nights, as fears of more youths from the city looking to join the Islamic State gain ground, with Facebook reported to be serving as the medium.
Just hours after the police returned four boys to their families whom they suspected of leaving their homes to join the jihadists in Iraq and Syria, authorities said that more youth could be in touch with the jihadist outfit, according to The Times of India.
The news of youth being radicalized in Hyderabad to join the IS has caused a flutter among security officials, who called for an emergency security review meeting held with Governor E S L Narasimhan on Friday.
"It's not just these four, but our investigations have found that there could be more youngsters who are in touch with ISIS handlers and this is a bit of a scary proportion," a police official told TOI.
This news comes just days after four youth from the state were detained in Kolkata on Sunday by Hyderabad intelligence agencies who suspected that they were planning to meet a recruiting member of the Islamic State in Dhaka. The intelligence officials had intercepted the communication and tracked the boys to Kolkata, where they were detained and then handed over to their families after counseling.
The four youngsters, who come from middle-class families in Hyderabad, revealed to the police that at least 11 more youths could be in touch with the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, who have declared a Caliphate in the Middle East.
The youths revealed that they had first encountered the Islamic State on Facebook and became members of 'closed groups'. They were influenced by messages shared by an Islamic state handler in one of the groups on Facebook, following which they decided to leave for Bangladesh and then go to Iraq to join the group.
"They were motivated by extremist propaganda on the social networking sites and decided to join ISIS," an intelligence official said. "We are keeping a watch on the 11 people, all part of a closed group."
This news comes just days after fresh terror threat in India was sounded by the Al Qaeda, which seeks to recruit jihadists from India for its new terror wing.
An increasing number of Indian youths are being influenced by IS propaganda, especially through the internet. Last week, a Mumbai youth believed to have joined the outfit was reported to have died in Iraq. He, too, was radicalized online.