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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) said on Friday that it has so far arrested 168 people in 37 cases of terror attacks, conspiracy and funding which have been inspired by the Islamic State (IS) ideology in the country.

It said charge sheets have been filed in 31 of the cases, the most recent of which was registered in June, and that 27 accused have been convicted after trial.

“Investigation by the NIA has revealed that IS (Islamic State) is trying to spread its tentacles in India through continuous propaganda online. Gullible youths are targeted on open social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram,” a spokesperson of the agency said.

The NIA said once a person shows interest he or she is then enticed to communicate with online handlers based abroad using encrypted social media platforms.

“Depending on the gullibility of the person, the handlers then use the person for uploading online content, translation of IS texts to local language, conspiracy, preparation of a module, collection of arms and ammunition, preparation of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), terror funding and even attacks,” the spokesperson said.

The NIA appealed to the public to bring into its notice any such activity on the internet.

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