Wedding on mobile phone: How an IS man courted a medical student from UP – Hindustan Times

An Islamic State (IS) sympathiser, deported by Saudi Arabian authorities last April, married a medical student from Uttar Pradesh over a mobile phone in 2016, his interrogation report has revealed.

The wedding over mobile was conducted with “proper Islamic rituals” though the two had never met, Amzad Khan, 37, told the National Investigation Agency (NIA). They could have met in Saudi Arabia where the woman was preparing to go after completing her studies but Khan, who worked at a grocery store there, was arrested before it.

Khan was already married and had two children when he started chatting with the 24-year-old student on Facebook and web application Nimbuzz in 2011-12.

“Initially they discussed about Ahl-e-Hadith (an Islamic school of thought) and Islam as she was inclined towards Hadith. She was impressed with his knowledge and fell in love,” states the interrogation report accessed by HT.

He motivated the student to join IS and live an Islamic life in Syria as Khan was assured that one “can live in Syria with family without going to battlefield”.

In early 2015, he had a change of heart and chose not to travel to Syria to join IS. He asked her to travel to Saudi Arabia to live with him. They married the next year.

Due to contacts Khan had maintained with IS recruiters before he abandoned the idea, two of his brothers working in Saudi were held. They were later released but Khan was arrested on September 26, 2016. On April 4, he was deported.

The son of a technician in Indian Railways, Khan had to drop out after matriculation owing to economic hardships. In Nagaur, he opened a public call office but due to his father’s debts, his family sold their house in Ratangarh and move to Bikaner. In 2005, Khan travelled to UAE and worked at his uncle’s company from where he moved to Saudi Arabia in 2014.

Initially, Khan did view the terror group with suspicion but when IS released 46 nurses stuck in Tirkit, he was impressed. He started listening to radical preachers, including UK-based Anjem Chaudhary, and soon found himself in telegram chat rooms filled with IS sympathisers. He then established contact with Yusuf-al-Hindi to whom he expressed his wish of joining IS.

The IR reveals that Khan’s relations with Yusuf were shaky from the beginning. Matters worsened when the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and other Islamic preachers issued fatwas against IS.

Yusuf had also told Khan he had joined Taliban after migrating to Afghanistan but left it after he and his brother had a “dispute” with them. The brothers then shifted their base to Raqqa in Syria, where Yusuf joined the IS.

After NIA began arresting Indian youth for their links to IS, Khan, that time in Saudi, changed his mind about ISIS and severed his contact with every other IS sympathiser he was in touch with, including Yusuf. However, it was too late for him.

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