Kochi (Kerala) – On 20th December, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said in the Special NIA Court in Kochi that the banned Islamist outfit Popular Front of India (PFI) has links with the terror organisations Islamic State (ISIS) and Al Qaeda.
In its report, NIA said that several PFI leaders were in contact with ISIS and Al Qaeda leaders, and NIA has proof of the same. NIA said this while seeking more time for investigation against PFI leaders arrested after the organisation was banned. As per the NIA investigation, the banned Islamist outfit also ran a secret wing.
PFI had links with ISIS and Al-Qaeda, ran a secret wing that made hitlist of people from other communities: NIA tells Kerala courthttps://t.co/seDE9QaVOj
— OpIndia.com (@OpIndia_com) December 21, 2022
The NIA also claimed that the PFI secret wing was compiling a hit list of people from other communities. “The secret wing had a Statewide network and was responsible for data collection and preparation of the list”, NIA told the Court.
NIA said that terrorist organisations such as the ISIS and Al Qaeda carry out their subversive activities by using anti-State and anti-Religious outfits like PFI in countries where they cannot operate openly. NIA has received inputs that several PFI leaders in Kerala were in touch with some Al Qaeda leaders. This requires detailed investigation.
“The investigation also revealed PFI leaders’ efforts to recruit youth for terrorist activities via social media groups. As the investigation nears completion, several people have already been questioned”, it added.The NIA has been given an additional 90 days to wrap up the investigation and file the charge sheet. 13 people have been booked in the case filed in Kochi. Following the Court’s decision, their judicial custody period was extended to 180 days.
On 27th September, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India banned the Islamist organisation PFI and its associated or affiliated fronts with immediate effect for a period of 5 years by exercising its powers under Sub-section (1) of Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 (UAPA).
The Government said that during the investigation, it was established that PFI created the associates or affiliates or fronts with an objective to enhance its reach among different sections of the society such as youth, students, women, Imams, lawyers or weaker sections of society with the sole objective of expanding its membership, influence and fundraising capacity.