NIA court sentences IS recruit from Kerala to life imprisonment
A National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Kochi on Monday sentenced a former Islamic State terrorist who had returned from Iraq to life imprisonment and slapped a fine of ₹2,10,000.
Subahani Haja Moideen (34) was found guilty under Section 125 of the Indian Penal Code for waging war against a friendly country and Section 120 B (criminal conspiracy) and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) by the court on Friday. This is the first time a person has been convicted under Section 125 of the IPC, legal experts said.
The court also lauded the investigating team for carrying out a thorough probe.
The NIA had arrested Moideen in October 2016 from Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu where he was living discreetly after his return to the country.
During investigation the NIA found Moideen, a resident of Thodupuzha in Idukki district, had left for Saudi Arabia in 2015 and later reached Turkey. He was taken to the Syrian border by his handlers and was later shifted to Raqqa (Syria) where he underwent intense arms training before being deployed in Mosul (Iraq) under a team led by a French-speaking leader.
During a battle, Moideen saw a fellow IS fighter burn alive and fled the scene but was captured by other IS militants. He told investigators that he was let off only after assuring the IS leadership that he would carry out terror activities in India.
The prosecution said when he was arrested he was planning attacks against some judges and senior political leaders. It also found that he had made several trips to Sivakasi, a Tamil Nadu town famous for its crackers, to collect explosives.
While in custody he was also questioned by French intelligence agencies in connection with the Paris attacks. He told interrogators that in Iraq he worked with Abdel Hamid Abaaoud, a Belgian-Moroccan terrorist, who was the mastermind behind the November 2015 Paris attacks.
During the probe, the NIA found that after leaving IS-ruled areas he came to Turkey and gave a false affidavit in the Indian Embassy saying that his travel papers were stolen during a religious trip.
But Moideen was not originally on the NIA’s radar. The agency came to know about him while it was investigating an IS recruit from Maharashtra - Areeb Majeed, who is now under judicial custody.
The NIA found that Moideen had recruited 15 people for IS through social media for carrying out terror activities in the country.