A Special NIA court in Lucknow has convicted eight persons in the 2017 Kanpur conspiracy for planning terror attacks on behalf of the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

They were booked under various sections of the IPC, UA(P), Arms Act and the Explosive Substances Act.

The case against the eight accused was initially registered at the ATS Police Station, Lucknow. Later the investigation of the case was taken over by the NIA.

The quantum of punishment in the case will be pronounced by the NIA court on February 27.

NIA investigations earlier revealed that the accused had prepared and tested some IEDs and tried to plant them at various locations in Uttar Pradesh.

A notebook was seized which contained handwritten notes about potential targets and details about bomb making.

Investigations had also led to the discovery of several photographs of the accused making IEDs and even with weapons, ammunition and the IS flag.

"The group had reportedly collected illegal weapons, explosives from various places. One of the accused, Atif Muzaffar, had also disclosed that he had compiled information on techniques to fabricate IEDs after collecting materials from various internet sources," the NIA said.

Investigations also revealed that Atif and three others, identified as Md Danish, Syed Meer Hasan and Md Saifulla, had been responsible for fabricating the IED that was planted in the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train.

The train explosion took place on March 7, 2017, in which 10n persons had suffered severe injuries.

This case was also investigated by NIA and is currently under trial.

"The breakthrough in the IS-backed criminal conspiracy case came when the main accused, Md Faisal, was arrested for his involvement in the train explosion. Disclosures made by him led to the arrest of two of his associates, Gauss Mohammad Khan alias Karan Khatri and Azhar Khan alias Azhar Khalifa," an NIA official said.

After taking over the investigations, NIA arrested five more accused in the case -- Atif Muzaffar, Mohammad Danish, Asif Iqbal alias Rocky and Mohammad Atif alias Atif Iraqi and Sayed Meer Hussain.

A charge sheet was filed by the NIA against all the eight arrested accused on August 31, 2017.

Investigations in the case had clearly shown that the accused were members of IS and had sworn 'abayat' (allegiance) to the terror group.

Atif Muzaffar was the group's Emir (leader) and was influenced by the propaganda of Dr Zakir Naik. He was found to be a frequent visitor of IS-related websites, from where he was downloading contents and videos and sharing it with the others in his group.

All eight had come together to propagate IS ideology and promote its activities in India. In pursuit of this objective, Mohammad Faisal, Gauss Mohammad Khan, Atif Muzaffar, Md Danish, Md Saifulla had explored land routes.

They had visited Kolkata, Srinagar, Amritsar, Wagah Border, Badmer, Jaisalmer, Mumbai and Kozhikode, among others, for undertaking 'hijrah' (migration).

Gauss Mohammad Khan and Atif Muzaffar had explored a route to cross over to Bangladesh via Sundarbans, as per the investigations.

Faisal, Atif and Saifulla had also travelled to Kashmir in March 2016 in a bid to contact some terrorist groups that could help them to cross over to Pakistan, from where they could migrate to IS-controlled territories in Syria.

Another accused, Saifulla, was killed during exchange of fire with ATS UP on March 7, 2017, in Haji Colony.

The police had a huge cache of arms, ammunitions, electronic gadgets and other materials required to fabricate IEDs, and documents, an IS flag, eight pistols, four knives, 630 rounds live cartridges, 62 rounds fired cartridges, five gold coins and cash Rs 62,055, foreign currencies, cheques, passports, five mobile phones.