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Maharashtra youth who joined ISIS returns, being quizzed

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Maharashtra youth who joined ISIS returns, being quizzed
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Thane (Maharashtra): A youth from Maharashtra, who joined the terror group Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, Friday returned home to India and was being questioned by intelligence agencies.

Arif Majeed, 23, hailing from Kalyan town, arrived by a flight via Turkey around 5.15 a.m. Friday. He was immediately whisked away by intelligence officials to an undisclosed location for interrogation.

Majeed went "missing" in May along with three other Thane youths - Shahim Tanki, Aman Tandel and Fahad Shaikh.

They had claimed they were going on a pilgrimage to holy sites in the Arabian Gulf and surrounding countries, but it was only much later, their families and police came to know they had reportedly sneaked into Iraq and joined the IS ranks.

Their sudden disappearance and the final destination had created a sensation in Indian political and security circles.

Arif's family was informed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) early Friday that he had returned to India.

Investigators will attempt to find from Arif how they entered Iraq, their activities out there, the fate of another 40 Indians reportedly under custody of the ISIS forces and how he (Arif) managed to escape and return home, officials disclosed.

Around Aug 26 this year, the Majeed family had received information from Tanki that Arif had been killed in action in the ISIS war, following which they had performed the customary post-death rituals and prayers.

Earlier, their families had sought help from the central government for the return of the youths, who they claimed were "misguided".

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