A 21-year-old man from Kerala who went missing in 2017 and was suspected to have joined the Islamic State (ISIS) is reported to have been killed in a US drone strike in Afganistan last month.
The news of Muhammad Muhasin's death was reportedly conveyed to his family via WhatsApp through an unidentified number from Afghanistan on July 30. Muhammad's father received a message which said that his son was 'killed during a drone attack by the United States on July 18'.
"Your brother was seeking martyrdom. Allah has fulfilled his wish as per his aspiration. He was martyred 10 days ago in a drone attack by the American forces," the message, which was written in Malayalam, read.
"Please do not reveal this to the police, otherwise they will come to your home and start bothering you. Your brother doesn't want this," it said, reported ANI.
Hailing from Edappal town in Malappuram district, Muhammad reportedly died along with a key ISIS commander, Huzaifa-al-Bakistani, in the Khorosan province of Afghanistan.
However, police officials have said that it is difficult to authenticate the reliability of the message.
"The man was reported to be missing from his home for the last two years. Though the message also states that he had been with the ISIS in Afghanistan, there is no way to confirm this," an official in the special branch of Malappuram district police told The News Minute.
Factors, such as the usage of WhatsApp messaging app instead of the organisation's wider use of the Telegram app, has aroused suspicion among officials.
The news of Kerala's ISIS module leader Rashid Abdulla's death was also conveyed via Telegram in June. Details about Rashid's whereabouts were sought from an IS member on the messaging app by a police officer who replied saying that he was killed in a US drone strike in May.
Government data on the number of Indian ISIS recruits over the past few years revealed that out of the 98 people from Kerala who joined the terrorist organisation, 38 were killed and 60 are alive and fighting for the group, reported ANI.
It is also reported that Muslims from Kerala are largely targeted and communications are often made from Gulf countries.