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NIA files charge sheet against 11 alleged to be with al-Qaeda

A view of National Investigation Agency (NIA), in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday filed a charge sheet against 11 “al-Qaeda members” from Kerala and West Bengal. It alleged that they were planning to attack among others, an India-based Bangladeshi blogger “for his views expressed on social media.”

The accused have been identified as 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. They were booked under various sections of the India Penal Code and the UAPA (Unlawful Activities [Prevention] Act) in a case registered last year.

“The instant case was registered by NIA based on information about an Al Qaeda inspired module sprouting and operating in States of West Bengal and Kerala under the leadership of Murshid Hasan and that the members of this module were in advanced stage of conspiracy to execute terrorist attacks in different parts of the country. In well synchronised raids conducted on 19.9.2020 in the states of West Bengal and Kerala, nine terrorists were arrested,” the NIA said in a statement.

Two more terror operatives were arrested from West Bengal on August 26 and November 1 last year, it stated.

‘Violent jihad’

“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. Murshid Hasan along with his other associates conspired to radicalise and recruit more individuals into the terrorist organisation Al Qaeda. 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,” it said.

The group members planned to attack individuals whom they considered ‘kafirs’ (infidels), it alleged.

The group members had conducted a series of conspiratorial meetings for raising funds for the purchase of arms, ammunition and explosive materials and “radicalising and recruiting more members and charting out the future course of action including establishing a ‘markaz’ (training centre for providing religious and weapons training to new recruits)”, it said.

“The accused persons 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 ammunitions in New Delhi,” the NIA added.

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Printable version | Apr 20, 2021 3:57:56 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/nia-chargesheets-11-al-qaeda-operatives/article33943466.ece

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