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Special NIA court drops UAPA charges against British national Al-Qaeda operative

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By Ananya Bhatnagar

New Delhi, Mar 20 (ILNS) In a major setback to the National Investigation Agency, a Special NIA Court recently discharged an alleged Al-Qaeda operative of offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in a case registered against him by the terror probe agency.

Special NIA Judge Praveen Singh, however, framed charges against Samium Rahman under certain Sections of the Foreigners Act and the Arms Act.

During the course of hearing, Advocate Ankit Karna appeared for Rahman and Public Prosecutor Kanchan represented the terror probe agency. According to NIA, Al-Qaeda tried to establish a base in Delhi through its operative Samiun Rahman.

The Britain-based Rahman had planned to fight for the Rohingya cause in Myanmar and entered India illegally via Beenapole border in West Bengal from Bangladesh, the NIA said in its charge sheet.

The national agency had filed an FIR against Rahman (29), on November 8, 2017, after he was arrested by the Special Cell. The anti-terror agency said that Rahman alias Hamdan, resident of Port Pool Lane in London, was staying in India on a fake identity of Shumon Haq alias Raju Bhai. The fake ID proof mentions his residential address as House No 88, Mullabadi post office, Dhantola Thakurganj, Kishanganj, Bihar.

“At the time of his arrest, a pistol and four rounds of ammunition were seized from Rahman. Incriminating material showing his allegiance to the Al-Qaeda and regarding his chat with the associates of the terror organisation were recovered from his laptop and mobile phone,” said the NIA.

His parents moved to Britain from Bangladesh in 1960s and settled in Central London. Rahman’s father was a businessman in London.

When Rahman was 19-years-old, he was arrested by traffic cops in London twice. He was jailed for 18 months.

The agency said that in London prison, Rahman got radicalised and in 2012, when he came out, he went to Mauritania. Rahman was influenced by Salafi teachings. Soon, he was recruited by the leaders of Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb.

The agency further said that Rahman was later told to go to Syria and fight for Al-Nusra, an affiliate of Al-Qaeda in Syria, fighting against the Syrian government forces. After joining the terror outfit, he got three-week training in an Al-Qaeda camp in Syria.

During questioning, Rahman allegedly told police that in Syria, his group came to know about the “atrocities” on Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar. As he had stayed in Bangladesh for long, he was selected to raise a fighter group there. He was in contact with his outfit members via Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram. ILNS/ANB/SNG/RJ

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