March 18, 2017 5:09:54 am
THE NATIONAL Investigation Agency (NIA) is set to chargesheet eight men from Kerala and Tamil Nadu for their alleged involvement in an Islamic State (IS) terror conspiracy. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Friday granted sanction to the NIA to prosecute the men under various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The first chargesheet relates to men who were allegedly part of a module busted by the NIA in Kannur last October. According to the NIA, the module wanted to target places of religious importance, Israeli tourists, high court judges and BJP leaders.
Five members of the module were arrested when they were holding a meeting at Kanakamala in Kannur on October 2 last year. Another person was arrested in Calicut the same day, while two others, including the group’s alleged financer, were arrested later. According to investigations, the group was being handled by a man identified as Manglasherry, who was earlier in Iran and later shifted to Afghanistan.
The men, all in their 20s, were identified as P Safwan, a graphic designer with Malayalam daily Thejas, the mouthpiece of Muslim outfit Popular Front of India (PFI), Manseed, the group leader who organised the meeting, Jassim N K, an engineering dropout, Ramshad N K, a B Com graduate, Swali Muhammed and Abu Basheer, both from Tamil Nadu.
The two who were arrested later were Moinudheen Parakadavath and Rashid Ali. Hailing from Kasaragod, Parakadavath was deported from Abu Dhabi and arrested by the NIA in February this year. The agency claimed Parakadavath had admitted his involvement in the IS conspiracy, and also revealed that he had transferred Rs 20,000 through Western Union Money Transfer to the men to fund their activities.
This financial transaction, along with electronic evidence in the form of Internet chats and Telegram messages, form part of the evidence against the accused.
“On October 2, 2016, based on intelligence inputs, five accused associated with this terror module were arrested from Kanakamala Hill in Kannur district of Kerala, and another associate was arrested from Calicut the same day. Based on their revelation, it was established that Moinudheen was a key figure in the module, which was actively planning various aspects of a terrorist plot, on a Telegram group,” said an NIA statement earlier.
It added that Moinudheen was using the online identity Abu-Al-Indonesi as well as Ibn Abdullah, on the Telegram group. “It was also revealed by the arrested persons that Moinudheen had sent funds from Abu Dhabi to members of the terrorist module in Kerala, for purposes of the conspiracy, through Western Union Money Transfer last year,” it said.
NIA sources said one of the arrested accused is not being chargesheeted as the investigation against him is yet to be completed.
The second chargesheet is against Haja Subahani Moideen, a 31-year-old jewellery shop salesman who was arrested days after the Kannur bust. Moideen is reported to have travelled to Syria in March 2015 and stayed there till September that year. He allegedly fought along with the IS, but decided to return after two of his associates were killed. He was reportedly punished for his decision to quit by an IS court.
Moideen returned to India in September 2015 and began working in a jewellery store. He reportedly came on the radar of intelligence agencies after he got in touch with his IS handler on the Internet and began planning to collect explosives.
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