Law & Order

Sri Lanka Attacks: Spice Trader's Family Travelled To India; Facebook Link Between Zahran Hashim And His ISIS Connections In India

Written By Suchitra Karthikeyan | Mumbai | Published:


  • In an exclusive newsbreak, Ministry of Home Affairs sources have said to Republic TV on Wednesday, that the National Investigative Agency (NIA) team which returned from Srilanka has submitted a report of its findings
  • The findings reveal the key conspirator in the Easter Colombo blasts, the modu operandi and the key conspirator's link to Aboobacker who was arrested in India in April

In an exclusive newsbreak, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) sources have said to Republic TV on Wednesday, that the National Investigative Agency (NIA) team which returned from Sri Lanka has requested Sri Lankan authorities to share details of the data recovered from digital items seized during the raids carried out at the residence of the suicide bombers.

A report has also been submitted by NIA IG Alok Mittal to DG YC Modi, as per MHA sources.

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Sources have also shared details of the NIA's Sri Lanka probe:

Sri Lanka’s spice traders connected to the Easter attacks were allegedly travelling to India since 2006. A top NIA source has confirmed to Republic TV that the spice trader's families would regularly visit Kochi. Investigations reveal that they would stay in the same hotel in Kochi.

“There is documentary evidence of Mohammed Yusuf Ibrahim’s family travelling to Kochi. We are still probing whether this was only a business trip or there is more to it,” said a top NIA source. Ibrahim’s two sons 33-year-old Inshaf Ahmed Ibrahim and 31-year-old Ilham Ahmed Ibrahim were allegedly involved in the Easter attacks.

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The key conspirator found by the NIA is Zahran Hashim. Details found about his involvement are as follows:

  • Sources report that NIA suspects that Zahran Hashim travelled to India using the sea route illegally, as they haven’t come across any travel document. NIA is still trying to figure out as to when Hashim had travelled to India, as per sources.
  • NIA has come across evidence of virtual links that Hashim maintained with youth in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. More than 100 followers of Hashim’s Facebook page are being investigated, as reported by sources.
  • NIA has found that ISIS members who were arrested in Coimbatore in September 2018 are linked to Hashim. The leader of the seven-member group was reportedly a follower of Hashim. Hashmi and the Ibrahim brothers sent at least 36 people from Sri Lanka to Syria.

The NIA probe has also uncovered the link between Zahran Hashim and Riyaz Aboobacker - who was arrested on April 30 by the NIA in Kerala in connection to the Sri Lanka Easter blasts.

  • A top source has confirmed to Republic TV, that Riyaz Aboobacker tried to get in touch with Zahran Hashim through Facebook.
  • Aboobacker, who constantly followed the ideologies of the brain behind the Easter attacks and National Thouheed Jamaat leader, has told NIA that he had sent few queries to Hashim. Aboobacker, in fact, received a response, but it was from Hashim’s follower. Aboobacker was also closely following Hashim’s speeches.

The key discovery of the NIA probe was that Hashim’s followers were in touch with him through Facebook. ISIS Kannur, Kasargod and Coimbatore modules too have a link with Hashim.

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Earlier in the day, the NIA carried out searches on early Wednesday morning at 7 locations in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore in connection with the Sri Lankan Easter bombings case in which over 250 people died and several were left injured. 

The NIA officials carried out the raids after receiving a tip-off from other intelligence agencies. As per sources, Tamil Nadu state police is also present at the spot of the searches. As per inputs, NIA is conducting the raids based on a tip-off to ascertain that the Sri Lankan organisation which took was involved in bomb blast through social media.

On 21 April which was observed as Easter Sunday, three churches in Sri Lanka and three luxury hotels in the commercial capital Colombo were targeted in a series of coordinated terrorist suicide bombings. 258 people were killed, including at least 45 foreign nationals and three police officers, and at least 500 were injured.