It was a Friday nearly two years ago, the start of the weekend in Saudi Arabia, and the expat Indian engineer was catching up on Facebook. Within minutes, he froze. On his nephew’s page were pro-Islamic State photos and videos of the war in Syria.
The engineer quickly shut down his computer fearing Saudi trackers, and picked up the phone to dial Mumbai.
“The moment I answered the phone, he started yelling at me,” recalled the nephew, the son of the engineer’s sister, speaking to The Indian Express on the condition that he not be named. “My uncle wanted to know how I had fallen for all this. ‘Why are you taking this path? You are not going anywhere, okay?’ he screamed.”
The next phone call from Saudi Arabia was to his mother. And within days, the nephew, then a 21-year-old pursuing a Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA), found the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) at his doorstep. Someone from the family had sought their intervention.