A former Google employee was detained for allegedly trying to join the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, police said, after making a breakthrough which could help them bust an organized network of home-grown jihadis, planning to join the militant group.
Police sources in Hyderabad said that security analyst Munawad Salman, 30, a resident of Musheerabad, was held after officials tracked his conversation for months and was certain that his hidden agenda to visit Saudi Arabia was to cross over to Iraq and join Islamic State .
"He is being grilled for more information. This is perhaps the first time, a software engineer has got attracted to a global terror outfit like Islamic State in the recent past," a senior police official told TOI.
"The arrest is very significant and could open a big door for us to trace more educated youth getting influenced by militants," the officer said, referring to IS, whose main motive is to establish Caliphate (Islamic State) in vast swathes of the world.
Software engineer Salman, quit his Google India job six months ago. Since then, he had been actively reading 'Al Isabha' web propaganda, which is again run by sympathizers of Islamic State , formerly Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and al-Qaida, to target Indian Muslims, sources said.
The techie is learnt to have been in touch with handlers from ISIS for nearly a year and has allegedly exchanged emails before being completely influenced by people behind 'Al Isabha'.
With security agencies on high alert across the country, especially on the look out for prospective people or sympathizers of Islamic State and al-Qaida, planning to join the outfits, they stumbled upon Salman's conversation with his handlers.
During interrogation, Salman said he had a visa to travel to Saudi Arabia and join a local company there.
"He has a proper job visa to go to Saudi Arabia, but there was clear indications that he was planning to join IS either immediately or later. The family members also counselled him to desist from getting attracted to such ideas, when they came to know about the matter," another official said.
This is not the first time members of Islamic State managed to lure youth from Hyderabad as nearly 15 of them, including some engineering students, made vain attempts to join Islamic State and were caught on the West Bengal border in September this year.