New Delhi: Startling facts revealed by probe agencies on plots hatched by banned outfits made headlines in 2014 in Delhi courts which noted that Osama bin Laden was still the driving force for terror groups following footsteps of ISIS to create situation like Iraq and Syria.
A tug of war was also witnessed between a federal agency and Delhi Police's anti-terror wing over the custody of Tehseen Akhtar and Zia-ur-Rehman alias Waqas, top operatives of Indian Mujahideen (IM).
Amid this lone incident which consumed considerable time of the court, terror-related cases focused around IM which carried out strings of strikes since 2007 and a charge sheet quoting confessional statement of IM co-founder Yasin Bhatkal disclosed that terrorists draw inspiration from Laden and al Qaeda for bringing youth to carry out jihad.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which was entrusted with major terror cases, disclosed in the court that Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI was "regularly" funding IM in its nefarious designs and the banned outfit was following ISIS' footsteps to create a situation in India similar to the one prevailing in Iraq and Syria.
The year also witnessed a plethora of terror cases in the trial courts here where probe agencies like NIA and the Delhi Police's Special Cell revealed bone-chilling facts which showed the reach of outfits like Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and IM.
One of the most dangerous plot unfolded by NIA was that IM was planning to carry out nuclear strike in Surat for which they were trying to procure the logistics from Pakistan.
The fact was disclosed by NIA in its chargesheet filed in the court against Yasin Bhatkal in which the agency also said that Pakistan's ISI was "closely connected" with the members of the outfit and was providing shelter to them. One of the revelations by the investigating agencies here prompted foreign authorities to issue an advisory to its citizens not to wear short clothes while visiting religious places like mosques in India.
The move came after Delhi Police's Special Cell filed a charge sheet against Bhatkal and his aide Asadullah Akhtar claiming that foreigners wearing mini skirts and entering Jama Masjid here had prompted IM operatives to commit terror strike at the historic mosque in September 2010.
Similarly, the 9/11 twin tower attack in New York was the trigger for Yasin Bhatkal as the attack gave him "confidence" to established IM having various modules, like the Darbhanga module, Ranchi module and others, the charge sheet containing his confessional statement disclosed before the court.
In the tug of war for the custody of IM operatives Tehseen Akhtar and Zia-ur-Rehman, the Special Cell of Delhi Police came out smiling as the court brushed aside NIA's contentions.
Besides cases related to suspected IM men, the courts here also heard matters involving top LeT bomb expert Abdul Karim Tunda, one of the 20 terrorists India had asked Pakistan to hand over after 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, and suspected LeT operatives like Abdul Subhan, Asahbuddin, Mohd Rashid and Mohd Shahid.
Names of underworld dons Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel again came into fore in the trial court which declared them as proclaimed offenders in the IPL spot-fixing scandal case, in which suspended cricketers S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were also named in a charge sheet along with others.
The courts here also dealt with cases in which extradited gangster Abu Salem is facing trial along with others.
The year saw court issuing non-bailable warrants against Pakistani-American David Coleman Headley, his alleged accomplice Tahawwur Rana, LeT founder Hafiz Saeed and 26/11 attack mastermind Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi, who are accused of carrying out terror attacks here.The court also issued non-bailable warrants against
Pakistan Army officials Major Iqbal and Major Sameer Ali, top Al-Qaeda operative Illyas Kashmiri, believed to have died in a drone attack in Pakistan, Headley's handler Sajid Malik and ex-Pakistani Army officer Abdul Rehman Hashmi for allegedly entering into a conspiracy with members of LeT and HuJI to commit terror acts in India.
During the year, there were some successful convictions in terror-related cases with some of the suspected operatives of banned outfits pleading guilty to the offences against them.
In one such matter, the court convicted Surinder Singh Kanda, a resident of Kenya, who was arrested along with some alleged members of banned Babbar Khalsa International in connection with twin blasts at Satyam and Liberty cinema halls here in May 2005.
The court sentenced Kanda to nearly five years in jail which he had already undergone behind the bars during the pendency of trial.
Similar was the case of Gulam Ahmed Khan and Farooque Ahmed Batloo, alleged to be associates of a suspected LeT militant. They were sentenced to five years imprisonment in the case.
They had pleaded guilty on charges of transferring money to the suspected LeT operatives who had carried out the serial blasts here on Diwali eve in 2005 that claimed 67 lives.