A medical student from Hyderabad who allegedly joined the militant Islamic State (IS) in Syria was in prolonged contact with a man on social media who radicalised her, Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences Vice Chancellor Naushad Sheikh told DawnNews.
A committee was formed by the university to investigate Naureen Leghari who was arrested after her husband, Ali Tariq, was killed in an encounter in Lahore on Friday night.
Sources earlier told Dawn that Leghari had allegedly visited Syria to join IS after leaving her home in February. She had also received training in Syria for using weapons, they said.
She returned home to Lahore three weeks ago and was being tracked by security personnel. Law enforcement agencies are investigating her as well.
“She [Leghari] was in contact with a boy on social media for quite some time,” the vice chancellor said.
“[Her contact with the boy] transformed her mindset and influenced her towards extremism,” he added.
The vice chancellor said that Leghari was a “reserved girl” who used to “pray five times a day.”
Sheikh added that two of Leghari’s friends were Hindus.
Leghari was arrested on Friday after her husband, whom she had married after leaving her home and joining the militants, was killed in an encounter in Punjab Housing Society.
Security personnel found her college card and her father’s Computerised National Identity Card from their hideout and reportedly contacted her family in Hyderabad.
Meanwhile, Sindh police contacted their counterparts in Punjab on Sunday to confirm the detained woman’s identity.
She was being interrogated about the modus operandi of the militant network and other people associated with it
Sindh police chief A.D. Khowaja earlier said, “We had been suspecting that Naureen Leghari had been radicalised by some elements.”
Educated ‘hardcore militants’
In a recent study carried out by Sindh Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) about educated ‘hardcore militants’ in the province’s jails, revealed that out of 500 surveyed militants, at least 64 have a masters degree or higher.
As many as 70 militants have a bachelors degree and 63 have completed their matriculate and intermediate, according to the CTD Sindh study reviewed by Dawn on Monday.