New Delhi, April 21: A National Investigation Agency court today convicted two persons for criminal conspiracy and raising funds and recruiting people for the Islamic State, the first punishment in the country in a case related to the terror group.
Those convicted are Sheikh Azhar-ul-Islam, 24, a resident of Ganderbal in Jammu and Kashmir, and Mohammed Farhan Shaikh, 25, a resident of Kausa Mumbra in Thane near Mumbai.
In the chargesheet, the duo had been accused of criminal conspiracy, conspiracy to commit terrorist acts, being members of a terror outfit, supporting the activities of a terror outfit and raising funds for it. The case had been registered in January last year.
The NIA said in a statement that the court had sentenced the duo to seven years in jail. "The court convicted both the accused on account of their having pleaded guilty of criminal conspiracy and acting as a frontier group of the IS for inciting, inviting and facilitating people of different nationalities to leave their countries and travel to Syria to support the furtherance of the activities of the IS," the statement said.
During the investigation, the NIA established that Azhar-ul-Islam and Farhan Shaikh had connived with others in 2014-15 to propagate the ideology of the IS, recruit people, raise funds and facilitate the travel of the recruits to Syria to join fighters of the terror outfit.
"In furtherance of the criminal and terrorist conspiracy, the accused persons had created multiple email IDs, used several mobile numbers obtained from their associates from different countries, formed various online forums and groups on Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, Surespot, WhatsApp, Kik, Viber and Skype... and invited like-minded persons - residents of countries from different parts of the world," the NIA statement said.
"They formed a terrorist gang and acted as a frontal group of the IS and incited, motivated, invited and facilitated people of different nationalities to leave their respective countries and travel to Syria to join, support and further the activities of the IS," it added.
According to the NIA, the duo had voluntarily advocated and professed to be IS members and propagated the outfit's terror activities. They had allegedly distributed "incriminating content", including videos, images and literature, and "glorified" and "justified" the IS's activities.
The duo had allegedly raised funds in the UAE and transferred it to their associates in India, Philippines and Tunisia to facilitate their travel to Syria.