Karachi: Two Pakistanis arrested while trying to reach Syria to join ISIS

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ISIS

Two Pakistani men caught trying to join terror group Islamic State in Syria.

According to media reports, Pakistani authorities have caught tow Pakistani men who were trying to reach Syria to join ISIS. Both of these Pakistanis are from Karachi and were arrested in a far-flung Iranian town all along the Turkish border. Both of them were deported from Iran and handed to Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). When they reached Karachi both of them were arrested Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Sindh Police.

When the police initiated investigations it was discovered that these men were educated Pakistanis who fell for social media recruiting campaign by ISIS. It was discovered that this was just another case when the militant group lured and radicalised susceptible youngsters by means of social media.

Both of these men are identified as Bilal Rind and Zain Shahid who were stupefied by violent ideology of ISIS through its videos, pictures and literature shared on Twitter. These men made plan of travelling to Syria earlier this year, and got connected with ISIS representatives.

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“I started worrying about Syria after watching news channels in Dubai. I thought about the people living happily and freely in Dubai. But the situation in Syria was too different,” Bilal told the authorities. He said that he was upset with the political standoff in Syria. Later on, as per his statement, he started talking with an ISIS representative who urged them to travel to Syria who identified himself as Abu Ukba convinced him to travel to Syria via Turkey.

It was this representative of ISIS, who told Bilal to meet Zain another Pakistani residing in Karachi and provided him a contact number. Both of them met in a local mosque, they got connected with the trafficker. “We had to leave for Syria in April but could not arrange money for the agent. We finally left the city in June.”

Zain who is the other Pakistani trying to join ISIS after he was influenced by the same ISIS representative, who convinced Bilal on Twitter but using a different identity Abu Khalid. Reportedly, Zain left a note for his family before leaving for Syria. In his note he wrote that he was returning to the land from where he came.

Officials stated that in June both of them started their journey to Syria. Both of them reached Iranian border via sea and land routes. Both of them were given a date and a water bottle per day. They said there was a rule: “if they die on the way, they will be left there. “It was the toughest time of my life,” said Zain. “I truly regret my mistake. I have decided to live a normal life.” However followed by few weeks of travel, they reached a town near the Iraq border. Nonetheless, the Iranian border forces caught them while they were trying to sneak into Turkey.

In this regard, the investigation officer of this case, CTD in-charge Raja Omar Khattab said, “They thought life in Syria would be better than here. The travelling taught them a lesson. We were informed that two youngsters have left the city to join IS. We continued our working and finally found them.”