NIA probe: Videos of Light Series, preachers Musa Cerantonio, Anwar al-Awlaki were used to influence IS sympathisers

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New Delhi, March 4 Islamic State (IS) sympathisers were using videos of Light Series on YouTube, a Yemen preacher and writer Anwar Al-Awlaki in the Al-Qaeda magazine, ‘Inspire’, and controversial Australian preacher Musa Cerantonio to motivate people to join them, National Investigation Agency (NIA) has said in a chargesheet filed in a Delhi court recently.

The NIA’s claims are mentioned in its supplementary chargesheet filed against Abdullah Basith and Abdul Qhadeer, both from Hyderabad, who were allegedly involved in identifying, motivating, radicalizing the gullible Muslim youths to join hands with them in their attempt to carry out subversive activities in India. 

The NIA arrested both of them on August 12, 2018. They are currently in judicial custody in Delhi’s Tihar Jail. 

The NIA had earlier filed a chargesheet on July 20, 2016 against three accused — Sheikh Azhar-Ul-Islam alias Abdul Sattar Sheikh, Mohammed Farhan alias Mohammed Rafiq Shaikh and Adnan Hassan alias Mohammad Hussain. 

Sheikh Azhar-Ul-Islam and Mohammed Farhan had pleaded guilty and were sentenced to seven years in jail while the trial against Hassan is still going on.

NIA, in the supplementary chargesheet filed in February, revealed that Basith was an associate member of Students Islamic Organisation (SIO) from 2012 to 2014. He was expelled from SIO in 2014, due to his sympathy with the IS. 

As a member of SIO, he met one Adnan Ahmed who inspired Basith for watching videos of light series on YouTube viz. the Light Revelations and Light Reloaded, which were created and uploaded by Adil DX from Sri Lanka.

“Light Revelation series were against IS, whereas, Light Reloaded series run counter to Light Revelations and are in favour of IS,” the NIA said in the chargesheet. But the two series have inflammatory contents, NIA said. 

Basith also watched videos on the concept of caliphate and speeches of one Anwar al-Awlaki, a preacher from Yemen, a native of US and also a writer in ‘Inspire’, the Al-Qaeda magazine, the agency said.

Basith also watched videos of Musa Cerantonio who was arrested by the Australian authorities in May 2016 for being engaged in hostile activities.

In 2014, Basith has started joining groups who supported IS on Facebook and was inclined towards IS. 

According to NIA, Basith had joined one Al-Muhajiroon, which was run by Anjum Chaudhary, a preacher in UK, Khilafa chat room and Tauheed Awakening Groups on Facebook where he came to know about the preachers and other big names worldwide. 

Abdullah Basith also influenced his cousins Maaz Hassan Farooq, Omer Farooq Hussaini and one friend Abdul Abrar towards the ideology of IS and motivated them to join him to go to Syria for hijrat.

The NIA, in the report, said that Basith came in contact with Abu Zakaria, who was a native of Spain and had been working for IS in Iraq and Syria, who has advised him to come to Turkey. 

He was planning to go to Turkey but was arrested in Kolkata by Telangana Police in August 2014 who counselled him and let him off by taking a lenient view of his “first offence”. 

(Amiya Kumar Kushwaha can be reached at amiya.k@ians.in

For graphics:

Since 2016, National Investigation Agency (NIA) has registered 10 separate cases against modules of terror outfit Islamic State in various places of the country including Howrah, Jaipur, Kannur (Kerela), Ahmedabad, Kullu (Himachal Pradesh), Delhi and Coimbatore. THe cases are at various stages of investigation. Here’s is 2016 case: 

* January 28 2016: NIA registers case against Sheikh Azhar-ul-Islam, Mohammed Farhan and Adnan Hussain along with their other unknown aides accusing them of plotting to motivate, radicalize, recruit and train Indian citizens, both in India and abroad, for planning and executing terror attacks at home and in friendly countries

Status: Sheikh Azhar-Ul-Islam and Mohammed Farhan plead guilty, are sentenced by a Delhi court to seven years in jail. Trial against Adnan Hussain is going on.

* February 2019: NIA files supplementary chargesheet against Azhar-ul-Islam’s aide Abdullah Basith and Abdul Qhadeer under charges of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. 

Status: Basith and Qhadeer arrested in Hyderabad on August 12, 2018  – IANS

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