15 missing Indian Muslims feared to have joined ISIS

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Militants of the Islamic State (ISIS). File photo

ARA News 

DAMASCUS – At least 15 Muslims in the southern Indian state of Kerala are missing and may have joined the ranks of the Islamic State (ISIS), local media reported on Saturday.

Relatives of the missing individuals said they had received messages on WhatsApp suggesting that the missing people had reached the place of “divine rule…Islamic State,” according to the Indian Express.

The 15 missing are all young, and include five married couples, one with a two-year-old child.

According to local sources, the missing people knew each other, and some of them had previously worked in the Gulf states.

“They had never been associated with any political or religious organization. But, over the last two years, they had turned orthodox, with the men sporting long beards,” an unnamed source told the Indian Express.

In the meantime, Kerala’s state police chief urged caution over the reports and said that “we can’t come to any conclusions” on their whereabouts.

“[Their] families have not approached local police with a formal complaint,’’ said Loknath Behera, Kerala’s director general of police.

According to earlier reports, a total of 23 Indians had left to join ISIS in either Syria or Iraq, 17 of them from southern states.

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