NIA court finds TN man guilty of waging war for Islamic State

Subahani Haja Moideen was arrested while he was reportedly trying to collect explosives to hold a terror strike in Kerala.
NIA Court in Kochi
NIA Court in Kochi
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The NIA court in Kochi on Friday held Subahani Haja Moideen, a Tamil Nadu native, guilty of waging war with the Islamic State (IS) against the government of India. The man, who returned to Kerala in 2016 allegedly after escaping from the IS, was arrested while he reportedly tried to collect explosives to hold a terror strike in the state.

According to NIA counsel, the court has found the man guilty of the offences charged, including section 125 of the Indian Penal Code (waging war against any Asiatic Power in alliance with the Government of India), which is supposedly rarely invoked. The quantum of sentence will be announced on Monday.

The court convicted Moideen under sections 120(B) (criminal conspiracy) and 125 (waging war against Asiatic power in alliance with the Government of India) of the Indian Penal Code and section 20 (punishment for being member of terrorist gang or organisation) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or UAPA.

It also held him guilty under section 38 (offence relating to membership of a terrorist organisation) and 39 (offence relating to support given to a terrorist organisation).

The arrest of Subahani Haja Moideen, reportedly a Tamil Nadu native who had been living with his family in Kerala, is the second known case of an Indian coming back to the country after joining IS.

“After leaving India, he illegally crossed the border through Turkey and reached Iraq. He joined the Islamic State there and waged war. These are the offences and the court has found him guilty,” NIA counsel told the media.

The counsel also said that the NIA has argued that he should be given the maximum sentence, as it “is dangerous if such people are in the public”. The NIA counsel also added that the case is rare due to section 125 of the IPC.

“This is a kind of section that requires evidence collection from foreign countries. NIA has been successful in this,” he said.

According to reports, Subahani, allegedly was imprisoned by the IS after he tried to escape from the terror group. He escaped to Turkey along with a few others, and reportedly sought the help of Indian embassy in Turkey as a lost man. After coming back to India, Subahani had been living secretly with his family in Thodupuzha of Kerala’s Idukki district. But months later, he was arrested in October 2016 while trying to collect explosives to hold a terror strike.

During custodial interrogation, he had disclosed that he had knowingly and intentionally communicated with co-conspirators in IS within and outside India over social media platforms like Facebook and Telegram to wage war against the governments of Iraq and India.

Based on his disclosures, the contents of his email and social media accounts were extracted in the presence of independent witnesses, during custody.

(With inputs from PTI)

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