NIA charges five of Islamic State in Khorasan Province

Jahanzaib Sami  

The National investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a chargesheet against five accused who owed allegiance to the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) for allegedly “conspiring to utilise the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests to instigate Muslims against the Indian Government”.

NIA said the accused, including two women instigated Muslims by “coining seditious slogans and making graffiti at public places and highlighting the same on social and international media”.

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“They were also provoking some gullible youth to participate in anti-CAA protests actively. In case these protests failed to provoke the Muslims, they were planning for arsoning of Government buildings and public property so that riots could happen and they could exploit the sentiments of Muslims,” NIA said in a chargesheet filed in a Delhi court on Wednesday.

The five accused have been identified as Jahanzaib Sami (36), Hina Bashir Beigh (39), Abdullah Basith (26), Sadiya Anwar Shaikh (20) and Nabeel Siddick Khatri (27).

Sami and Beigh are from Srinagar and were arrested by Delhi police from Jamia Nagar in southeast Delhi in March for allegedly running social media handles active during the anti-CAA protests. The case was transferred to NIA.

NIA claimed that Beigh studied in Pune and she got radicalised since in 2014-15 by reading ISIS-related content on social media. NIA said that Sami and Beigh got married in 2017 as both supported the ideology of ISIS.

The other suspect Basith is from Hyderabad, while Shaikh and Khatri belong to Pune.

In 2015, when Shaikh was a student at a convent in Pune, she was detained and counselled by the Maharashtra police as she planned to exit the country to join the Islamic State (IS) in Syria. She was allegedly radicalised on the Internet by a Sri Lankan handler who promised her medical education in Syria.

NIA said that Sami, who pursued B.Tech from Ferozpur in Punjab “got radicalised and inclined towards ISIS/ISKP by reading about it on the Internet”.

“He established contact with ISIS handler Huzaifa-al-Bakistani and latter’s father-in-law viz. Abu Usman-Al-Kashmiri (Head of Indian affairs of ISKP) in 2017 on secure messaging platform. Huzaifa-al-Bakistani further introduced him to Abdullah Basith, another ISIS operative, who is already in judicial custody at Tihar jail in connection with another NIA case,” NIA said.

NIA said that Sami, Beigh, Basith and Shaikh “were continuously in contact with ISIS operatives based in Khorasan (Afghanistan) and Syria”.

“On receiving instructions from ISKP head Abu Usman-Al-Kashmiri, accused Sami and Basith prepared a magazine titled ‘Voice of Hind’ inciting Muslims against non-Muslims and exhorting them to rise against the government of India and join ISIS. The magazine eulogises ISIS/ISKP terrorists including Huzaifa-al-Bakistani who was killed in July 2019 in a drone strike in Afghanistan and denigrates the Indian Constitution and democratic system,” NIA said.

Investigation also revealed that Sami, Beigh, Basith and Khatri tried to make an improvised explosive device and were planning to carry out mass killings in crowded places to further the activities of ISIS/ISKP in India. “Reconnaissance was got conducted by them of certain sensitive locations in Maharashtra which are frequented by foreigners,” NIA said.

Reconnaissance was got conducted by them of certain sensitive locations in Maharashtra which are frequented by foreigners.

NIA said that it was investigating Sami’s links with Abdur Rehman, a Bengaluru-based ophthalmologist who was earlier arrested for promoting ISIS.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 9:09:58 AM |

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