Indian intelligence agencies had tipped off their Sri Lankan counterparts about the attack on by the terrorists hours before the multiple bombings were carried by the Islamic State on April 21 leading to the deaths of 321 people. The Indian intelligence is believed to have contacted them two hours before the first attack to warn about the specific threat on churches.
Sources from Indian Intelligence have given details to Republic TV about how they came across the inputs which were then sent to warn Sri Lanka. The agencies came across the information while questioning the ISIS Coimbatore module.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) came across the activities of Sri Lanka bombing jet conspirator Zahran Hashmi while probing the ISIS Coimbatore module. But this was not during the interrogation of the accused in the case. In fact, information regarding Zahran Hashmi came in after NIA filed the chargesheet in the ISIS Coimbatore case.
A top NIA source told Republic TV that they stumbled upon leads on Hashmi after CERT-In stepped in and managed to retrieve information from the hard discs and mobile phones of the arrested IS sympathisers of the Coimbatore module. Forensic analysis allegedly revealed many videos of Hashmi indoctrinating and calling youth to join the IS fold. The CERT-In is the national nodal agency for responding to computer security incidents as and when they occur.
The NIA sources maintain that they will be questioning alleged associates of the ISIS Coimbatore module to see if there is any connection to the Sri Lankan attackers.
In March this year, NIA shared this information with its sister agencies. The input includes detailed video messages of Hashmi threatening to carry out attacks in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Details of certain calls made from Sri Lanka to Bangladesh were also shared.
Their intelligence on Zahran Hashmi was subsequently developed by RAW which then shared specific intelligence on a possible attack on Catholic Churches and Indian High Commission to their counterparts in Sri Lanka. The government sources have also confirmed that the agencies once again warned Sri Lanka of “big attack” in April.
The NIA probe has revealed that the local ISIS - Waliya module (active mainly in the southern states -- Tamil Nadu, Kerala) was allegedly in touch with the sympathisers in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
In fact some of the ISIS sympathisers had travelled to Sri Lanka for training.