Mumbai

NIA gathers ‘incriminating’ online evidence against IS recruit

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which informed a special court here on Monday that they have gathered “incriminating” online evidence against Arif Majeed, the alleged IS recruit, needs to act with zero loss of time to ensure that the digit foot prints of his alleged offence do not go offline.

According to experts the impending urgency is owing to the fact that Google and other social networking sites store their data for a period of six months.

The agency in the past too had a bad experience while trying to retrieve online information against alleged 26/11 master mind Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal.

Earlier this year, NIA through the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had sought information on various accounts and social networking activities of Jundal under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) but didn’t succeed to get anything concrete as the data sought was prior to 2008.

In the present case, the alleged indoctrination on the cyber space had happened earlier in the year.

"It takes time to convince the courts in USA to issue the order to the service providers to help with the information. Majeed was allegedly indoctrinated between January to May, so the chances of getting our hands on the data seems to bleak," a source explained.

The agency is trying to track the people who Majeed was in touch with online to find out if they were members of the sleeper cells of any terror outfits.

"There is a possibility that the persons with whom Majeed was in touch with were probably members of a sleeper cell of any of the banned outfits and we could get more information only if we manage to track their accounts," he added.

Meanwhile the special court here in Mumbai sent Majeed to police custody until December 22.

The four young men identified as Aarif Majid, Fahad Shaikh, Amaan Tandel and Saheem Tanki hail from Kalyan in Thane district on the outskirts of Mumbai.

On May 25, they left along with 40 others by an Etihad flight to Baghdad on a pilgrimage. On May 31, they called for a private taxi which dropped them at Mosul. Since then they went missing and are believed to have joined the militant group.

All of them have been booked under section 125 of the IPC (waging war with an Asiatic ally) and certain sections ( 16, 18, 20) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 11:36:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/nia-gathers-incriminating-online-evidence-against-is-recruit/article6675478.ece

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