Gujarat: NIA Court Sentences Two ISIS Operatives to Ten Years in Jail

A special NIA court here has sentenced two brothers, accused of having links with the terror outfit Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), to ten years of imprisonment.

Waseem Ramodiya and his younger brother Naeem were arrested by the Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) from Rajkot and Bhavnagar, respectively, in February 2017 for allegedly plotting to spread terror in the state on the instructions of their ISIS handlers.

The case was handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in May 2017.

On Tuesday, special NIA court judge S K Baxi convicted both the accused, and sentenced them to ten years’ imprisonment.

The court found them guilty under Indian Penal Code sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 121 (waging war against government) and 122 (collecting arms to wage war against government), relevant sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Explosive Substances Act.

As per the First Information Report (FIR), the two brothers were under surveillance for more than a year.

The duo were about to carry out lone-wolf attacks in Gujarat and had planned to escape to Syria afterwards, the FIR claimed.

As per the ATS, Waseem convinced Naeem to join him in spreading terror using various means including bomb blasts.

“Analysis of the call details of the mobile phone being used by (ISIS preacher) Mufti Abdus Sami Qasmi before his arrest showed connectivity with the mobile registered in the name of Waseem Ramodiya,” the FIR stated.

“In view of the same, technical and physical surveillance were kept on the bearer of the number. The surveillance had revealed that Waseem was initiated into ultra-radical Jihadi ideology as preached by the ISIS,” it added.

Mufti Qasmi was arrested by the NIA in February 2016 and accused of being the main ISIS operatives in India.

“Technical surveillance on Waseem Ramodiya revealed that he was in regular contact with his brother Naeem and they discussed various developments pertaining to the ISIS. The tone and tenor of the telephonic talks between the brothers clearly indicate that they were highly influenced by the ISIS’s call of establishing a caliphate and wished to be part of the so-called Jihad against non-believers,” the FIR read.

The FIR contained transcripts of messages of the handler, who time and again instigated Waseem to carry out “big attacks” and kill “kaffirs” (non-believers), video-record the incidents and send the clips to him for dissemination.

Waseem had replied to his handler that he was committed to doing the work and sending video clips, the FIR read.

Waseem and Naeem hold MCA and BCA degrees, respectively.

The ATS also found bomb-making videos and Jihadi literature on their mobile phones.

Hard and soft copies of ‘Dabiq’, a propaganda magazine of ISIS published in English which aims to recruit jihadists, were also recovered from their possession, the ATS said.

As many as 173 files of the speeches of Mufti Abdus Sami Qasmi were also found on their mobile phones, it added.

The duo had planned to attack the famous temple at Chotila town in Surendranagar district in Gujarat, carry out blasts at different places and set vehicles on fire to spread terror, the investigators said.

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