Malayali Christian who embraced Islam killed in Libya says Islamic State

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Members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement march during a military parade in Gaza City on October 4, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Anas BABA

The Indian intelligence agencies are verifying claims that an engineer from Kerala who joined the Islamic State had died in Libya

In an ISIS document titled Know your Martyrs, it is claimed that Abu Bakr Al-Hindi, a Christian by birth had embraced Islam while working in the Gulf. The document further claimed that he is the first ‘Istishhadi’ from India to be killed in Libya. ‘Istishhadi’ is a suicide bomber or martyr killed in an attack.

While there is no mention of the ISIS operative’s original name, it is learnt that he was born to a rich Christian family which has many engineers. The ISIS claimed that he was working in Bengaluru before leaving for the Gulf. In Gulf he was in a completely Muslim environment for the first time. The outfit also claimed that he was introduced to Islam through a pamphlet handed to him at a super market. It further claimed that he was completely shocked to know that Muslims believed in Jesus. Following this he sought to learn more about Islam, the document also added.

He was able to fly Into Libya easily as his passport had a Christian name on it. He was radicalised by the speeches of Anwar-Awlaki, following which he decided to join the ISIS. As his contract had expired, he was to come back to India. The ISIS however told him to go to Libya. The development is an interesting one as it is for the first time that such an incident involving an Indian has been reported from Libya. Most Indians who have joined the ISIS have either gone to Syria or Afghanistan. The maximum number of Indians who have joined the ISIS are from Kerala. Afghanistan alone has more than 20 ISIS operatives from Kerala.

Officials whom one Indian spoke with says that this is a new development. The ISIS had launched it Libya operations in 2014. While many Indians were directed to fight in Syria and Afghanistan, the movement into Libya is a relatively new one. We are verifying the antecedents of the person and also the claim made by the ISIS regarding this engineer from Kerala, officials also pointed out.