Three youths, arrested for alleged links with ISIS, were using social networking platforms like Facebook and WhatsApp to indulge in terrorist and anti-national activities, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) claimed in a charge sheet filed today.
The accused have been identified as Sheikh Azhar-ul-Islam (24), resident of Ganderbal in Jammu and Kashmir, Adnan Hassan (36), a native of Bhatkal in Karnataka, and Mohammad Farhan Shaikh (25), who hails from Mumbra, Maharashtra, it said.
These accused were arrested on January 29 in Delhi by the NIA for their alleged involvement in promoting the ideology of ISIS, inciting others to join the outfit and indulging in terrorist and anti-national activities through Nimbuzz, Google Talk, Facebook, Whatsapp, Skype, Vkontakte, Kik, Twitter, Hangouts, Snapchat, YouTube, Viber, Wickr, Surespot, Google Drive and Telegram, the agency said.
They were arrested from Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) after their deportation from UAE, official sources said.
The e-devices seized from their possession at the time of their arrest include four laptops, two tablets, seven mobiles, five SIMs, three Secure Digital (SD) cards, two pendrives and some incriminating documents, it said.
“These accused persons in connivance with their associates based in UAE and other countries were also actively involved in receiving, collecting and distributing funds to persons interested to go to Syria to further the activities of the ISIS using banking channels including Western Union,” the NIA said in a press release.
“Adnan Hassan had also funded the ISIS module from Hyderabad and had attempted twice to flee from India to go to Syria, first from Kolkata in 2014 via Bangladesh and Afghanistan and then from Nagpur to Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir in 2015,” the release said.
Investigation has also established their association with ISIS operatives from various countries including India, Egypt, Australia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Hungary, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Nigeria, Netherlands, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Serbia, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, UAE and United Kingdom, who were actively propagating, promoting and inciting people online to join ISIS, it said.
The probe conducted has brought on record evidence of their incriminating chats, posts, videos, images and comments on Facebook, WhatsApp, Kik, VKontakte and Twitter shared and circulated in groups and channels on various social networking sites, during 2014-15, the NIA said.
The probe agency has registered a case in the matter in February on the orders of Union Home Ministry.
“These accused were also in close contact and association with other accused persons charge sheeted in other NIA cases, including Areeb Majeed, Mohammed Sirajuddin, Mohammed Naser and Shafi Armar, and shared with them many common online contacts of ISIS operatives, including Karen Aisha-al-Muslimah and Madmullah,” it said.
Today’s charge sheet has been filed under section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections 18 (conspiracy), 20 (punishment for being member of terrorist gang or organisation), 38 (offences relating to membership of terrorist organisation), 39 (offences relating to the support given to a terrorist organisation) and 40 (offence of raising funds for the terrorists organisation) of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, the NIA said.