Press Trust of india

Two ISIS operatives plead guilty before Delhi court

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New Delhi:  Two persons on Wednesday pleaded guilty before a Delhi court in a case of criminal conspiracy by the ISIS to establish its base in India by recruiting Muslim youths through different social media platforms in order to carry out acts of terrorism in the country.

Accused Abu Anas and Najmul Huda made the submission before the court, which was scheduled to hear arguments on the quantum of punishment for six other accused who had earlier pleaded guilty in the case, their advocate Qausar Khan said.

Special Judge Parveen Singh, meanwhile, Wednesday deferred for August 24 the hearing on the quantum of sentence for the six accused — Mudabbir Mushtaq Sheikh, Mohammad Shareef Moinudeen Khan, Asif Ali, Mohammad Hussain Khan, Syed Mujahid and Mohammad Azhar Khan — who pleaded guilty earlier.

While pleading guilty, the accused told the court that they were “remorseful for the acts alleged against them”, and undertook not to indulge in similar acts and activities in future.

They said they wanted to return to the mainstream society and rehabilitate themselves.

“The accused are having clean antecedents, even their conduct in jail are satisfactory and there is nothing adverse against them… the accused are pleading guilty voluntarily without any pressure, threat, coercion, inducement or undue influence and he that he understands the consequences,” their plea said.

The case, registered by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on December 9, 2015 under relevant sections of the IPC and the UA(P) Act, pertains to the larger criminal conspiracy hatched by the ISIS to establish its base in India by recruiting Muslim youths for the proscribed terror group through different social media platforms, the probe agency said.

The accused had formed Junood-ul-Khilafa-Fil-Hind organisation, seeking to establish a caliphate in India and pledging allegiance to ISIS, to recruit Muslim youths to work for the ISIS and commit acts of terrorism in India at the behest of Syria-based Yusuf-Al-Hindi who is purportedly the media chief of ISIS, it said.

The NIA had filed chargesheets against 16 accused in 2016-2017.

After the six accused pleaded guilty on August 06, the court convicted them under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and various sections of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and Explosive Substances Act.

“This case was first of its kind in which terrorist conspiracy of this magnitude involving online radicalisation was effected on cyber space in the aftermath of declaration of Islamic Caliphate by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in 2014,” the NIA had said.

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