Biblioteket til Center for Islamic Guidance i Kattankundy, Sri Lanka. Foto: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters/Scanpix
Myndighetene på Sri Lanka har arrestert en skriftlærd som er utdannet i Saudi-Arabia og mener han har kontakt med hjernen bak terroren første påskedag, Zahran Hashim. Det er grunn til å tro at wahhabismen fra Saudi-Arabia har påvirket muslimske miljøer på øya.
Sri Lankan authorities have arrested a Saudi-educated scholar for what they claim are links with Zahran Hashim, the suspected ringleader of the Easter Sunday bombings, throwing a spotlight on the rising influence of Salafi-Wahhabi Islam on the island’s Muslims.
Den pågrepne heter Mohamed Aliyar, (60). Han driver et religiøst senter i Zahrans hjemby og skal ha deltatt i opplæringen av selvmordsbomberne.
Mohamed Aliyar, 60, is the founder of the Centre for Islamic Guidance, which boasts a mosque, a religious school and a library in Zahran’s hometown of Kattankudy, a Muslim-dominated city on Sri Lanka’s eastern shores.
“Information has been revealed that the suspect arrested had a close relationship with … Zahran and had been operating financial transactions,” said a police statement late on Friday.
The statement said Aliyar was “involved” with training in the southern town of Hambantota for the group of suicide bombers who attacked hotels and churches on Easter, killing over 250 people.
Zahran var en tamil-talende predikant som var leder av gruppen. To kilder i Kattankundy sier til Reuters at Zahran for to-tre år siden orienterte seg mot den salafistiske wahhabi-retningen.
“I used to always run into him at the center, reading Saudi journals and literature,” said one of the sources.
Det er betydelige pengesummer involvert. Reuters kunne fortelle at myndighetene har beslagt verdier til 40 millioner dollar.
Sri Lankan authorities say they have dismantled a major part of the network linked to the Easter Sunday bombings, confiscating bomb-making material and freezing assets worth about $40 million linked to the plotters.
Ytterligere ti personer tilhørte den indre krets som utførte terroren. De hadde flere bomber klare til å begå mer terror.
Investigators are still tracking down 10 more key players associated with plotting the bombings, which killed more than 250 people, including 42 foreigners, a military source told Reuters on Tuesday.
“The investigations show there were another 8 to 10 people who attended meetings with the other plotters,” the source said.
Assets worth about $40 million belonging to the bombers and plotters linked to the April 21 attacks have been frozen, police spokesman Ruwan Gunesekera said.
Presidenten sier at alle tegn tyder på at IS var involvert, det er ikke bare noe de påberoper seg.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena told Reuters over the weekend that all indications pointed to Islamic State involvement.
Sri Lankan authorities have said the bombings were believed to have been carried out by two little-known domestic Islamist groups, the National Tawheed Jamaath (NTJ) and Jamathei Millathu Ibrahim (JMI). Islamic State has claimed responsibility.