A Kerala man, who joined the Islamic State in Afghanistan last year and was reportedly killed in a US airstrike six months ago, reportedly sent a message to his family last week to confirm that he was alive.
Bestin Vincent alias Yahya, a Palakkad native, who converted to Islam, had moved to Afghanistan last year with his wife Merin Jacob alias Mariam, his brother Bexen Vincent alias Isa, Bexen's wife Nimisha alias Fathima and 17 others to live in an ISIS-controlled territory in the Khorasan province.
A senior government official said Bestin messaged his mother last week, claiming he is alive, according to The Hindu. However, the latest message was in English.
“Bestin’s mother received the message on Telegram [an Internet messaging app]. It was sent from a number that Bestin used when he went to Afghanistan last year. He said the report about him being killed was not true and that he was safe and sound,” the report quoted the government official as saying.
However, the NIA reportedly said they are yet to hear any updates from the Afghan authorities. “This message further creates confusion. We are not taking it at face value,” the report quoted an NIA official.
Back in April, Ashfak Majeed, who was part of the group that went to Afghanistan, sent a message to a relative of Bestin, saying “Yahya (Bestin), whom you all consider a Jew, have become martyr. He was fighting on the frontline in the battle against American kufrs (infidels).”