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Bihar Woman Gets 7-Year Rigorous Imprisonment in Kerala’s First ISIS-Related Case

One Western official estimated that the group’s strength was now reduced to around 300 fighters in Afghanistan.

One Western official estimated that the group’s strength was now reduced to around 300 fighters in Afghanistan.

The court, in its order, said that considering the fact that Zahid is a “lady about 30-year-old”, a “lenient view” has been taken.

Thiruvananthapuram: A special NIA court in Kochi has sentenced a 29-year-old woman to seven years of rigorous imprisonment for helping in recruitment of Kerala youths to Islamic State (IS). It is the first ISIS recruitment case registered in Kerala.

The special court in Ernakulam found Yasmeen Mohammed Zahid, a native of Bihar, guilty of hatching criminal conspiracy with the first accused, Abdulla Abdul Rashid of Kasaragod. It said that they intended to further promote the objectives of ISIS. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on her.

While Rashid has travelled to Afghanistan and is propagating ISIS ideology, Zahid is under arrest and the NIA is probing the matter.

The court, in its order, said that considering the fact that Zahid is a “lady about 30-year-old”, a “lenient view” has been taken. The court also stated that one of the witnesses had reported that she was threatened. It said that steps should be taken to protect the witness.

As a part of the trial, the court had examined 52 prosecution witnesses, one defense witness and nearly 50 material objects.

The NIA charge-sheet states that the mobile phone, SIM Cards and memory cards seized from Zahid were subjected to digital forensic examination, and it was found that the two memory cards contain "pro-ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) propaganda videos, videos advocating violent jihad, ISIS propaganda material as PDF documents, besides certain communication with Rashid and his wife”.

The charge-sheet further examines that Rashid had raised funds for the terrorist organisation. "Some part of the funds were transferred to Zahid to travel to the ISIS-controlled territory. Zahid had received, and utilized these funds to prepare for her travel," it said.

The 28-year-old woman, who had attempted to join IS with her son, was arrested at the Delhi International Airport on July 30, 2016.

Rashid and Zahid were booked after 15 people from Kasargod migrated to Afghanistan to join the terror group in 2016. A total of 21 people, including children, were reported missing from the state two years ago.