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Special NIA Court Convicts Six People in ISIS Conspiracy Case

Representative photo: Reuters

Representative photo: Reuters

Out of 16 accused, six of them - Mudabbir Mushtaq Sheikh, Mohammad Shareef Moinudeen Khan, Asif Ali, Mohammad Hussain Khan, Syed Mujahid and Mohammad Azhar Khan pleaded guilty before the trial court.

A special NIA court here has held six people guilty in a case of a criminal conspiracy by the ISIS to establish its base in India by recruiting Muslim youths through different social media platforms to carry out acts of terrorism in the country, an official said.

The order was passed on Thursday by special judge for NIA at Patiala house courts complex Parveen Singh.

The case, registered by the NIA on December 9, 2015 under relevant sections of the IPC and the UA(P) Act, pertains to the larger criminal conspiracy hatched by the ISIS to establish its base in India by recruiting Muslim youths for the proscribed terror group through different social media platforms, an NIA spokesperson said.

During investigation, searches were conducted in various cities and 19 accused were arrested.

The accused had formed Junood-ul-Khilafa-Fil-Hind organisation, seeking to establish a caliphate in India and pledging allegiance to ISIS, to recruit Muslim youths to work for the ISIS and commit acts of terrorism in India at the behest of Syria-based Yusuf-Al-Hindi who is purportedly the media chief of ISIS, the NIA official said.

The NIA filed chargesheets against 16 accused in 2016-2017.

Out of 16 accused, six of them - Mudabbir Mushtaq Sheikh, Mohammad Shareef Moinudeen Khan, Asif Ali, Mohammad Hussain Khan, Syed Mujahid and Mohammad Azhar Khan pleaded guilty before the trial court, the official said.

On Thursday, the court convicted the six accused under sections 120B of the IPC, Sections 17, 18, 18B, 23, 38, 39 and 40 of the UA(P) Act and Sections 5 and 6 of the Explosive Substances Act, the NIA official said.

The date for the pronouncement of judgement and quantum of punishment has been fixed for August 19.

This case was first of its kind in which terrorist conspiracy of this magnitude involving online radicalisation was effected on cyberspace in the aftermath of declaration of Islamic Caliphate by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2014, the NIA spokesperson said.

No terror group prior to the emergence of ISIS had used the information and communication technology on such a large scale to scout, recruit, train and motivate its cadre for the acts of terror, the official said.

Utmost precaution was taken by the group by using encrypted tools to keep the communication among the ISIS handlers and potential recruiters, both in India as well as abroad, secret, the NIA official added.

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