The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has joined the probe in Sri Lanka. A team from NIA left earlier this week to assist the Sri Lankan authorities. The mandate of NIA team is to probe the India link in the blasts that were carried out in Sri Lanka. The team is expected to return within a week.
Eight countries are currently assisting Sri Lanka in the probe. 69 key suspects have been arrested over the past four weeks. Sri Lankan authorities say they have nearly completed the investigation.
In fact some of the ISIS sympathisers had travelled from India to Sri Lanka for training. NIA is essentially trying to unearth the India link.
Republic TV had earlier reported that NIA came across the activities of Sri Lanka bombing key conspirator Zahran Hashim while probing the ISIS Coimbatore module. But this was not during interrogation of the accused in the case. In fact, information regarding Zahran Hashim came in after NIA filed the chargesheet in the ISIS Coimbatore case.
Top NIA source has 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.
CERT-In is the national nodal agency for responding to computer security incidents as and when they occur.
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 details 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.
Government sources have also confirmed that the agencies once again warned Sri Lanka of “big attack” in April.
ISIS UMBRELLA ORGANISATION IN SOUTH INDIA – ISIS-WILIYA
NIA probe has revealed that the local ISIS - WILAYA module (active mainly in the southern states -- Tamil Nadu, Kerala) was allegedly in touch with the sympathisers in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.