New Delhi, Sep 12: A Delhi court on Friday convicted nine operatives of Islamic terror outfit ISIS for hatching a criminal conspiracy to establish its base in India by recruiting Muslim youths through different social media platforms to carry out acts of terrorism in the country.
Special Judge Parveen Singh convicted accused Abu Anas, Nafees Khan, Najmul Huda, Mohd Afzal, Suhail Ahamed, Obedullah Khan, Mohd Aleem, Mufti Abdul Sami Qasmi and Amjad Khan after they pleaded guilty.
Their advocate Qausar Khan said the court convicted them under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC, and various sections of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Explosive Substances Act.
The judge accepted their application pleading guilty and posted the matter for September 22, when he will hear the arguments on their quantum of sentence.
On the next date of hearing, the court will also hear arguments on the quantum of sentence of six others - Mudabbir Mushtaq Sheikh, Mohammad Shareef Moinudeen Khan, Asif Ali, Mohammad Hussain Khan, Syed Mujahid and Mohammad Azhar Khan - who were earlier convicted after they pleaded guilty.
The court have directed the jail authorities to file reports regarding their conduct and asked the defence counsel to inform about their background and family's condition.
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.
Advocate Khan has further told the court that the accused 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 had said.
The advocate said though the maximum punishment for the offences in which the accused persons are convicted after pleading guilty is life imprisonment, the court may consider all other aspects mentioned before it while pronouncing quantum of punishment.
The case, registered by the 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 NIA 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, the NIA said.
The NIA filed chargesheets against the accused persons in 2016-2017.
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.