NIA files charge sheet against 11 Al Qaeda terrorists held from West Bengal, Kerala
New Delhi/IBNS: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday filed a charge sheet in an NIA special court in New Delhi against 11 Al Qaeda terrorists arrested from West Bengal and Kerala, officials said.
According to sources in the NIA, the 11 Al Qaeda operatives, Murshid Hasan alias Sofiq, Mosaraf Hoseen, Mainul Mandal, Lea Yean Ahmed alias Leion, Najmus Sakib, Iyakub Biswas, Samim Ansari, Abu Sufian, Atiur Rahman, Al Mamun Kamal, and Abdul Momin Mandal, have been charged under sections 120B, 121, 121A and 122 of the IPC; sections 16, 18, 18B, 20, 38, and 40 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, and section 25 of the Arms Act.
NIA officials said that the instant case was registered by the national counter-terrorist task force based on information about an Al Qaeda inspired module sprouting and operating in West Bengal and Kerala under the leadership of Murshid Hasan alias Sofiq and that the members of the module were in the advance stage of conspiracy to execute terrorist attacks in different parts of the country.
Acting on tip-offs, NIA carried out raids at multiple locations in West Bengal and Kerala on Sept 9 last year and arrested nine terrorists.
Months later, NIA picked up two more Al Qaeda operatives from West Bengal, taking the total number of arrests in the case to 11.
"Investigation has revealed that Murshid Hasan was in touch with Al Qaeda handlers based in Pakistan and Bangladesh and had received instructions along with radical propaganda material through encrypted social media platforms from them," a senior NIA official involved in the probe said.
"Murshid Hasan along with his other associates conspired to radicalise and recruit more individuals into the terrorist organisation Al Qaeda, and they disseminated radical material through social media and encrypted chat platforms with an intention to radicalise and recruit others for establishing an Islamic State by waging violent jihad in India," the official added.
"The terror operatives had conducted a series of conspiratorial meetings for raising funds for the purchase of arms, ammunition and explosive materials, radicalising and recruiting more members and charting out the future course of action including establishing a Markaz, a training centre for providing religious and weapons training to new recruits," he said.
Investigators said that the accused were also in active communication with an arms dealer through their foreign-based handlers and were planning to receive a consignment of sophisticated arms and ammunition in New Delhi while they also had plans to attack few individuals, including an India-based Bangladeshi blogger.
"Our further investigation in the case is still underway to identify and catch other absconding accused persons," an NIA official said.
Meanwhile, the Central agency on Thursday filed a supplementary charge sheet in an Espionage Case of Uttar Pradesh against Gujarat-based ISI agent Rajakbhai Kumbhar under sections 120B and 123 of the IPC, and section 18 of the UAPA.