NIA files chargesheet against 11 Al Qaeda operatives

NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday filed a chargesheet against 11 terrorists of Al Qaeda, who were planning to execute terror attacks in several parts of the country.

An NIA Spokesperson said the agency had filed the chargesheet in a Special NIA court here against 11 members of Al Qaeda from West Bengal and Kerala — Murshid Hasan aka Sofiq, Mosaraf Hoseen, Mainul Mandal, Lea Yean Ahmed aka Leion, Najmus Sakib, Iyakub Biswas, Samim Ansari, Abu Sufian, Atiur Rahman, Al Mamun Kamal, Abdul Momin Mandal under several sections of the Indian Penal Code as well as sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the Arms Act.

The NIA had registered a case based on information about an Al Qaeda-inspired module sprouting and operating in West Bengal and Kerala under the leadership of Murshid Hasan and that the members of this module were in an “advanced stage” of the conspiracy to execute terrorist attacks in different parts of the country.

The NIA carried out raids on September 19, 2020 in West Bengal and Kerala and arrested nine terrorists. The official said that two more Al Qaeda operatives were arrested from West Bengal on August 26 and November 1 last year. The official said, “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, the NIA official added. “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 jihad in India,” the official said.

The NIA officer said the terror group members planned to attack individuals whom they consider “kafirs”. “The group members had conducted a series of conspiratorial meetings for raising funds for the purchase of arms and ammunition or 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),” the official added.

He 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 ammunition in New Delhi. However, their nefarious plans were obviated by their timely arrest by the NIA. The accused persons were planning to attack, among others, an India-based Bangladeshi blogger for his views expressed on social media.”

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