Bengaluru: A possible Pakistan angle may reportedly emerge in the investigation in the serial suicide bombings on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, which claimed the lives of 253 people. According to top Intelligence sources Moulvi Hashmi Zahran the alleged leader of the suicide squad that executed the terrorist attacks - whom Sri Lankan authorities say led the suicide bomb attack on the Shangri-La hotel and died when the bomb was detonated - had reportedly travelled to Pakistan from Sri Lanka to meet an ISIS ‘agent.’
“After his return from Pakistan, Hashim had given a clarion call to the youth in Jammu and Kashmir to join the Islamic State of Iraq & Syria (ISIS); cause maximum damage to India and establish the Caliphate. Many Muslim youths in the country, especially in South India, have been radicalized online by Hashim, who made them believe that they were the chosen ones for jehad. The first top ISIS recruits from India - Abdul Khadir Sultan and his brother Shafi Armar alias Yusuf al Hindi were from Bhatkal in Karnataka. They were both killed fighting for ISIS.
In the last two years the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested more than 14 ISIS suspects from Uttar Pradesh (UP), National Capital Region (NCR). Tamil Nadu (TN), Andhra Pradesh (AP), Karnataka and Kerala, who were indoctrinated into taking up violent jehad by watching Hashim’s videos.
On their interrogation they all revealed that they were ‘inspired’ by Hashim. They are hardcore radicals, who are bred on the gore of ISIS ideology. Hashim’s video lectures are in Tamil and hence are more appealing to the vulnerable youth in TN and Kerala,” said an officer on condition of anonymity. “The worry is that more and more vulnerable youths are getting drawn by ISIS. They do not need a leader. They are all radicalized online,” he added.
The interrogation of the ISIS suspects in India led to the alert on Sri Lanka. The NIA shared the dossier on Hashim with the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) and the Intelligence Bureau (IB) with specific inputs on his sinister plans to carry out terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka. These were immediately shared with their counterparts in the island country....