The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a charge-sheet against seven ISIS members accused of being involved in a conspiracy to carry out terror attacks in different parts of the country, an official said on Sunday.
According to the chargesheet, the arrested accused – Mohammad Imran, Mohammad Yusuf Khan, Mohammad Yunus, Mohammad Yakub Saki, Kadeer Dastagir Pathan, Seemab Nasiruddin Kazi, Zulfikar Ali Barodawala, Shamil Saquib Nachan and Aakif Atique Nachan – were found to be organising terrorist training camps, harbouring known and wanted terrorists and engaging in acts preparatory to the fabrication of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Additionally, they were also found in possession of IEDs, firearms and ammunition.
The accused have been chargesheeted before the Special NIA Court under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UA(P) Act), Explosive Substances Act, Arms Act, and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Collection of funds from several sources
The accused were found to be collecting funds from various sources, both within India and abroad, to finance their terror designs and plans.
During the investigations, it was revealed that the accused persons are members of ISIS, a proscribed terrorist organisation, and had hatched a conspiracy to further the terrorist activities of the outfit with the intention to strike terror among the people and threaten the security, integrity and sovereignty of India, the charge sheet stated.
During the investigation, NIA uncovered a larger conspiracy with international connections and the involvement of foreign-based ISIS handlers in the ongoing case. The investigation has unveiled a complex network of individuals committed to propagating the extremist ideology of ISIS within India.
The accused, as part of this network, took an oath of allegiance (Bayath) to the self-styled Khalifa (leader) of ISIS. Their intentions were to carry out acts of terrorism on Indian soil.
Meticulous planning and evading arrest
The accused conducted extensive reconnaissance missions (recce) across multiple states, including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Telangana and others. Their aim was to identify potential targets for planting and detonating the fabricated IEDs, posing a significant threat to national security, the charge sheet added.
They had meticulous plans for evading arrest following potential blasts. As part of their escape plan, these individuals identified remote and dense forests as possible hideouts and used drones for reconnaissance to locate suitable camping locations while on the run.
Notably, the NIA arrested an eighth accused, Mohammad Shahnawaz Alam, for his active involvement in promoting the terrorist activities of the designated foreign terrorist organisation.