A probe into the activities of Areeb Majeed, an alleged recruit of the dreaded terror group ISIS, has led National Investigation Agency (NIA) to send requests to the US among other countries for cyber evidence.
The NIA has approached the authorities in the US, Canada and Australia for providing cyber evidence under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), official sources said here.
Without taking on face value the statement made by Majeed before the sleuths, NIA has been consistently picking up holes in his version and standing by its position after gathering evidences from other countries. He had claimed that he was never engaged in terror activities during his stay with the ISIS.
The US, which has been very cooperative in cyber-terrorism related cases, has already given preliminary evidence of the Internet Protocol address used by Majeed before allegedly joining the outfit and the mails shot off by him which includes to a person in Madhya Pradesh, who is believed to have financed his travel abroad to be part of ISIS, the sources said.
The NIA, in order to further strengthen the case, is also planning to send Letters Rogatory (LR) to Iraq and Syria as the passport of Majeed, a 23-year-old youth from Mumbai’s Kalyan area shows Iraq as his port of entry and Syria as port of exit, the sources said.
The provincial governments of these two countries are soon expected to honour the LRs after it was sent from diplomatic channels, the sources said.
During investigations, it was found by the NIA that Majeed had received some monetary transactions from Kuwait and the agency was preparing to send a MLAT to that country seeking information about the person who had transferred money into the account, they said.
Majeed was arrested by the NIA in the last week of November last year upon his return from Iraq and booked under Sections 16, 18 and 20 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and Section 125 of the Indian Penal Code.
The three UAPA sections stand for commission or conspiring to commit a terrorist act and for being a member of a terrorist organisation, while Section 125 of the IPC relates to waging war against a nation which is in alliance with the Government.
He landed in Mumbai on November 28 after spending nearly six months in Iraq, following which he was immediately detained by the security agencies and later arrested.
In May this year, four youths from Kalyan, including Majeed, had left the country to visit holy places in West Asia but disappeared thereafter. They were suspected to have joined ISIS. According to police, the four engineering students had flown to Baghdad on May 23 as part of a group of 22 pilgrims to visit religious shrines in Iraq.