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NIA seeks US, UAE help in IS suspect probe

NIA seeks US, UAE help in IS suspect probe
The National Investigation Agency (NIA)  on Friday told a Delhi court that it has sought assistance from the US and the UAE for evidence related to social media and other chat messengers used by arrested suspected ISIS operative Mohamed Naser Packeer.

In a plea filed before district judge Amarnath, seeking extension of period of detention of Naser beyond 90 days from the date of his arrest, the NIA said it has sent Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) to both the countries in this regard. “On January 13, 2016, the NIA has sent MLAT to the USA and the UAE, requesting them to provide the evidence regarding social media and other chat/messengers services used by accused Mohamed Naser. Reply in this regard is still awaited,” the agency said in the plea moved during an in-camera proceeding.

Sources said NIA also informed the court that they were awaiting the reply on letters rogatory (LR) issued to Republic of Sudan for collection of relevant evidence in the case.

They said the agency told the court that during the probe, it was found that there was a larger conspiracy by the ISIS operators in India and abroad for recruitment of resident and non-resident Indians and identity of such associates were being ascertained.

The court allowed the NIA’s plea and extended the period of investigation against Naser in the case by one month.

Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu-based Naser, who was deported from Sudan and was arrested in the case on December 11 last year, today moved a bail application through his counsel MS Khan.

The court has asked NIA to file its response on the bail plea on April 8.

Naser, currently in judicial custody, sought bail on the ground that the NIA has failed to file a charge-sheet against him within 90 days from the date of his arrest.

In its plea, the NIA claimed that during interrogation, Naser had disclosed names and mobile phone numbers of some active members and sympathisers of the ISIS and identity of such associates were being ascertained. The NIA also told the court that some handwritten documents, which were seized from the possession of Naser at the time of his arrest, and specimen handwriting of the accused have been sent for expert opinion and the report was awaited.

Besides Naser, the NIA had arrested several suspected ISIS operatives in the case for allegedly recruiting and financing people to join the terror outfit.

NIA had earlier claimed before the court that during the custodial interrogation, the accused have disclosed many facts about their involvement in the case and on recruiting and financing those willing to join the “Caliphate of ISIS” in Syria.

It had claimed these accused had extensively used Internet and social networking sites to identify, facilitate recruitment, training and promote the activities and ideology of the Middle East-based terror outfit.

It had alleged that these accused were arrested for allegedly planning to carry out attacks ahead of the Republic Day. They were arrested under several sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the IPC.
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