NIA Arrests Maharashtra Journalism Student, Gym Owner in ISIS Conspiracy Case

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested Pune student Sadiya Anwar Sheikh who was accused of being a human suicide bomber in 2018.

A second-year student of mass communication in Baramati, 22-year-old Sadiya, has been accused of conspiring with ISIS accused Abdullah Basit to carry out terror attack in india.

Basit, an accused in the ISIS conspiracy case is currently lodged in Tihar jail. Sadiya has also been accused of trying to recruit people for ISIS in conspiracy with a Kashmiri couple, Jahanzaib Sami Wani and his wife Hina Bashir Beigh.

The duo were arrested by Delhi Police in March this year from the Okhla area in national capital on charges of propagating ISIS ideology.

"Investigation has revealed that Sadiya Sheikh was continuously in touch with Jahanzaib Sami, Hina Bashir Beigh and Abdullah Basith on various secure messaging applications and deliberating on as to how to propagate the ideology of ISIS and further its activities in India. They were trying to build up a cadre of ISIS in India by recruiting gullible youth for terrorist activities," the NIA statement said.

In 2018, Jammu & Kashmir Police had first detained Sadiya for her alleged links with ISIS and complete radicalisation. Sadiya had then dismissed all charges against her and claimed that she had gone to Kashmir to seek admission in a nursing college.

After intense interrogation, Kashmir Police had not pressed any charges and handed over her custody to her mother. The NIA, however, now claims that Sadiya is not only radicalised but actively conspiring to recruit for ISIS and carry out terror attacks.

"Sadiya Sheikh was in contact with ISIS recruiters through social media since 2015. She was planning to execute a terrorist attack in Jammu & Kashmir and was detained by J&K Police in 2018," the NIA said.

The other person arrested in the case is 27-year-old gym owner Nabeel S Khatri. Khatri has been accused of arranging logistics to carry out a terror attack in India.

"Khatri was also actively involved in the planning to carry out violent terrorist attacks in India by arranging logistic support such as procurement of weapons, fake SIM cards, assembling of IEDs to further the activities of ISIS in India," NIA said.

The NIA will produce the duo in a special NIA Court to seek further custody for interrogation.