A Delhi court on Friday convicted nine persons in a case of conspiracy hatched by banned terror outfit ISIS to establish its base in India by recruiting Muslim youth through social media platforms.
The convicts, namely Nafees Khan, Abu Anas, Najmul Huda, Afzal, Suhail Ahmed, Obedullah Khan, Mohammed Aleem, Mufti Abdul Sami Qasmi and Amjad Khan, had voluntarily pleaded guilty before the court on August 6.
Special Judge Parveen Singh of Patiala House Court convicted them for criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code and various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Explosive Substances Act.
The court will now hear arguments on the quantum of sentence on September 22.
The case was registered on December 9, 2015. During the course of investigation, the National Investigation Agency conducted searches in various cities and 19 accused were arrested. A charge sheet was filed against 16 persons in 2016-2017.
It was revealed that the accused persons had formed an organisation, named Junood-ul-Khilafa-Fil-Hind, a group seeking to establish a Caliphate in India and pledging allegiance to ISIS, to recruit Muslim youth to work for ISIS and commit acts of terrorism in India at the behest of Yusuf-Al-Hindi who is based in Syria and is purportedly the ISIS media chief.
According to the NIA, this is the first case in which the conspiracy of this magnitude involving online radicalisation was effected on cyberspace in the aftermath of declaration of an Islamic Caliphate by ISIS chief Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi in 2014.
“No terror organization prior to the emergence of ISIS had used ICT (Information Communication Technology) on such a large scale to scout, recruit, train and motivate its cadre for the acts of terror. Utmost precaution was taken by them by using encrypted tools to keep the communication among the ISIS handlers and potential recruiters, both in India as well as abroad, secret,” the agency had said in a statement.