NIA questions key IS operative in Philippines

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New Delhi, May 3 (IANS) The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday said its two-member team last week questioned female Islamic State recruiter Karen Aisha Hamidon in Manila for her involvement in radicalising several Indian men online.

The NIA team questioned Karen Aisha Al Muslimah alias Karen Aisha Hamidon during its visit to Manila between April 24 and April 28.

“The questioning of Karen has resulted in confirmation of several facts and also provided significant leads about her associates in India, who were active online, to propagate the ideology of the Islamic State and also about a few Indians residing abroad who have helped her financially,” an NIA statement said.

It said the leads obtained are being investigated and that the execution of the Letters Rogatory (LR) by the Philippines authority is expected soon.

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An NIA official said the execution of the LR would provide substantial evidence to strengthen the cases against chargesheeted accused in the Islamic State-related cases filed in 2015 and 2016 in which three persons — Mohd Naser, Mohd Sirajuddin and Adnan Hasan — were in contact with Karen on messaging applications Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram.

Naser, a resident of Tamil Nadu, along with Sirajuddin and Hasan, both from Karnataka, were chargesheeted and are now facing trial in their respective cases, the NIA said.

In its investigation, the NIA found that Karen was also in online contact with many other Indians through different Facebook pages, WhatsApp groups and Telegram channels for motivating, radicalising and instigating her online associates from different countries including India to fight on behalf of terror group Islamic State.

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NIA officials, privy to the case, said Karen was also in telephonic contacts with many other Indian nationals.

To ascertain Karen’s role in the crime, requests under LR, issued by the special NIA courts in Delhi and Jaipur, were forwarded through proper channels to the competent judicial authority in Philippines in 2017 seeking legal assistance in the investigation.

Karen was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation, Philippines on October 11, 2017 and she has been charged for incitement to rebellion.

–IANS

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