A Kashmiri woman, who was arrested earlier this year along with her husband and one another person, for allegedly planning a terror attack in the country during anti-CAA protests has been tested positive for coronavirus. The accused was in the custody of the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Court has directed NIA to admit Hina Bashir Beigh to Delhi state-run Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital with immediate effect.
3 accused were interrogated by NIA
Hina Bashir Beigh was interrogated along with her husband and the third accused Abdullah Bashith, a Hyderabad-based man by the NIA from May 29 onwards. As per reports, before the interrogation, all three had tested negative. But Hina had showed symptoms later, following which she was tested again after some days.
Hina Bashir Beigh’s lawyer M S Khan had filed an application seeking interim bail for her for two months, saying: “Delhi is struggling to cope up with the rising number of coronavirus positive cases” and that there is “lack of proper treatment facilities in government hospitals”.
In the plea, which will probably be heard by the court next week, Khan also said that Beigh has no criminal record and there is no chance of her absconding or tampering with the case’s evidence. “Beigh has clean antecedents and roots in society. There is no chance of her absconding or tampering with the prosecution witnesses.”
The coronavirus tests of accused persons were conducted on June 6 (Saturday), on the directions of the court, a day before their 10-day custodial interrogation ended on June 7 (Sunday). “The report of COVID-19 test of accused persons namely Jahanzaib Sami and Mohd Abdullah Basith is negative but the report of Hina Bashir Beigh is found positive,” the NIA informed the court.
Kashmiri woman with IS links, her husband nabbed by Delhi police earlier this year
Notably, Jahanzaib Sami is the husband of Hina Bashir Beigh. Delhi police had nabbed the couple and another accused Mohd Abdullah Basith from south Delhi’s Jamia Nagar in March this year. They are accused of having links with the terrorist organisation Islamic State – Khorasan Province (ISKP).
According to the reports, the couple had been in touch with senior ISKP members in Afghanistan and had tried to exploit the anti-CAA riots to incite Muslims to carry out terror strikes inside the country. The Delhi police had intelligence regarding the IS terrorist presence in Jamia Nagar and carried out an operation on March 8.
Meanwhile, the court has sent Jahanzaib Sami and Mohd Abdullah Basith to jail after NIA did not seek their further remand for interrogation.
Kashmiri couple intended to carry out terror strikes including a suicide attack
Jahanzaib Sami was under the radar of the Indian intelligence operatives some time back for his association with senior members of ISKP in Afghanistan. It appears that he intended to carry out terror strikes including a suicide attack and had also been attempting to procure weapons for this purpose.
According to intelligence officials, Jahanzaib Sami was also in touch with Huzaifa al-Bakistani, the Pakistani commander of the Islamic State’s Khorasan wing who played a key role in efforts to radicalise Kashmiri youngsters to join the terror group. Huzaifa al-Bakistani, a Pakistani national who first joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba before upgrading to the IS, is a well-known online recruiter for IS.
Kashmiri woman active on pro-IS handles on social media
Jahanzaib Sami’s wife Hina Bashir Beigh was also active on pro-IS handles on social media and facilitated in spotting what the group considered ‘talent’ for its terror activities, a senior Police officer said.
After the arrest of the Kashmiri couple it was revealed that the Muslim couple operated an OSINT account on Twitter. OSINT is short for Open Source Intelligence, that is, data collected from publicly available sources to be used in an intelligence context. The couple operated an account on the social media platform with the username @kashmirosint. The handle has since then been deleted.
NDTV journalist Nidhi Razdan was in conversation with Kashmiri couple on Twitter
On Twitter, it was found that the couple’s account has had interactions with NDTV journalist Nidhi Razdan. The handle was apparently very popular within the research community and media. There are numerous OSINT accounts on Twitter and the agenda of these accounts is most often not known. Most of them operate from relative obscurity and they are mostly anonymous accounts. Given the nature of these accounts, it is easy to spread disinformation for sinister objectives in the name of OSINT as well.