India seeks info from Sri Lanka on NTJ

Preliminary investigation by Sri Lankan agencies revealed that attacks on the churches and the hotels in Sri Lanka were in response to March 15 shooting at two mosques in Christchurch in New Zealand. AFP file photo

India has requested Sri Lanka to share information about National Thowheed Jamath, which is being blamed for the string of suicide bombings that killed over 310 people in the island nation on Sunday.

New Delhi is keen to assess the regional and international links of the National Thoheed Jamath (NTJ), a hitherto little-known organisation, which was catapulted to notoriety after the series of terror attacks in Sri Lanka. The security agencies are also interested to know if the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), which is based in Pakistan and has been carrying out attacks in India, has re-activated its modules in Sri Lanka, sources told the DH.

The LeT earlier maintained training facilities in Sri Lanka for its recruits.

Preliminary investigation by Sri Lankan agencies revealed that attacks on the churches and the hotels in Sri Lanka were in response to March 15 shooting at two mosques in Christchurch in New Zealand.

The Islamic State has also claimed responsibility for the attack.

India’s security agencies are in touch with their counterparts in Sri Lanka as well as other friendly nations in the region to ascertain if the NTJ was working as part of a larger terror network, which might have plans for similar attacks in other countries too.

Assistance offered

Though New Delhi offered Colombo assistance in the probe into the terror attacks, the Sri Lankan government is unlikely to accept it formally, given the political implication of allowing investigators from India. The agencies of both the nations are informally cooperating with each other though. Their counterparts in the US as well as in Europe and other western nations are also in the loop, diplomatic sources said.

A senior official told the DH that although the string of strikes in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday had been the first such terror attacks by the “jihadi” Islamists, the intelligence agencies had in the past learnt about the LeT running training facilities in the island.

Mirza Himayat Baig, who was arrested in 2010 for his role in the March 2008 blast at German Bakery in Pune, had told his interrogators that he had undergone training in a LeT facility in Sri Lanka, he added.

Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi? Who will win the battle royale of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019


Get real-time news updates, views and analysis on Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on Deccanherald.com/news/lok-sabha-elections-2019 


Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram with #DHPoliticalTheatre for live updates on the Indian general elections 2019.

Comments (+)