Kerala ISIS kingpin was NIT passout

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Shajeer Managalasseri Abdulla, the suspected kingpin of the Islamic State (IS) module in Kerala, is a graduate from National Institute of Technology-Calicut (NITC). An expert in information technology, he completed BTech in civil engineering in 2002 and left for UAE in 2004 after he landed a job there.
His first passport was issued in September, 2004 from the passport office in Kozhikode, which was renewed in November, 2014.
Hailing from a middleclass family, Shajeer was a brilliant student, said his relatives and neighbours.Born to Mangalassery Abdulla and Subaida in 1981, Shajeer has two sisters and one brother, who is a driver with a leading jewellery in Kozhikode. His father passed away ten years ago. “He went to school at Sulthan Batheri in Wayanad where his father was a driver with the KSRTC. His family shifted to Moozhikkal near Kozhikode after he got admission at the NITC,” said one of his relatives.
The family is yet to recover from the shock after learning that Shajeer has joined the terror organization. The kin were apprised of the developments when police visited their house at Moozhikkal three days ago.
“We are clueless regarding what had happened to him and we don’t know what the Islamic State is,” said his brother and sister over phone. “We survive with the money Shajeer regularly sends home. He is a loner, who kept aloof from everything,” they said.
Neighbours too said Shajeer was an introvert who doesn’t mingle with anyone. “I remember seeing him once two years ago when he came home on leave. I don’t remember talking to him though his house is just two hundred metres away from mine,” said a neighbour. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) that has been probing the IS-related cases believes that Shajeer is the amir (leader) of the Kerala module that was busted at Kanakamala recently and he has close links with the leadership of the terror outfit in Afghanistan. Holed up in the IS stronghold in Afghanistan, he was in touch with them through Telegram app and was regularly posting Malayalam propaganda material on Facebook via an account with profile name Sameer Ali. Shajeer was a supporter of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political wing of the Popular Party of India (PFI) before joining the IS. He was active in the Facebook group `SDPI Keralam’ formed by the party cadres and sympathisers. However, he was never spotted at any events organized by the party.
It is not clear as to when Shajeer was drawn to the IS. Sources said that he was unhappy with the the political party as it was widely believed to have diluted the organization’s ideology.
There were discussions in the Facebook group over the perceived change in the agenda of the organization. It is assumed that Shajeer got attracted to the IS ideology after he was disillusioned with the democratic path chosen by the PFI.

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