NIA chargesheets seven in Ballari ISIS module case

The sleeper cells were being prepared to carry out guerrilla attacks on Indian soldiers, police and leaders of specific religious organisations.
National Investigation Agency
National Investigation AgencyFile Photo | PTI

BENGALURU: The NIA on Thursday chargesheeted seven accused involved in the Ballari ISIS module case under the IPC, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UA(P)A), Arms Act and Explosive Substances Act.

The seven, arrested earlier by NIA, have been charged with recruitment and radicalization of vulnerable youth as mujahideen to operate as terrorist sleeper cells, the agency stated in a release on Thursday.

“The accused were part of a bigger ISIS conspiracy to prepare 50 such sleeper cells in each district of India by 2025. The accused were also involved in the fabrication of explosives for furtherance of the ISIS goal to establish the Caliphate system in India by waging jihad against the Government of India,” the NIA stated in the chargesheet.

As per NIA investigations in the case, which was registered in December 2023, the “Ballari module was inspired by the separatist and violent ideology of the proscribed terrorist organisation ISIS. The sleeper cells were being prepared to carry out guerrilla attacks on Indian soldiers, police and leaders of specific religious organisations. The improvised explosive devices prepared by the accused were meant to unleash terrorist violence in various parts of the country”.

“The accused had already carried out a trial blast in Bellary, Karnataka, and had also been sharing jihad related digital documents/data with other vulnerable youth,” added the agency.

During investigation, NIA had seized explosive materials, sharp-edged weapons, digital devices containing propaganda magazines related to jihad, khilafat, fidayeen attacks published by various terrorist organisations including ISIS, and several incriminating documents/data exposing the ISIS roadmap for establishing Islamic rule in India.

According to the chargesheet, six of the charge-sheeted accused had taken ‘bayath’ (pledge of allegiance) from their co-accused Md Sulaiman alias Minaj, who had proclaimed himself as Amir of the group created by him. Besides Minaj, the others have been identified as Mohammed Muniruddin, Syed Sameer and Md Muzammil, who are residents of Karnataka. Anas Iqbal Shaikh is from Maharashtra, Mohd Shahbaz alias Zulfikar is from Jharkhand, and Shayan Rehman alias Hussain from Delhi. “Further investigations are in progress to unravel the complete conspiracy and identify others involved in the same,” added the NIA.

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