An ISIS-linked terror accused Aboobacker Siddique, who had been watching videos and listening to speeches of Zahran Hashim who had masterminded the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka, confessed before the NIA that he intended to carry out a suicide attack in Kerala
New Delhi: Sri Lankan government may soon seek more information from Indian intelligence agencies to probe the Easter attack on churches and hotels targeting Christians. The Sri Lankan government has approached the Indian government as India was the first one to warn Sri Lanka that a module of the ISIS was planning attack on churches of Sri Lanka.
Indian External agencies R&AW gave a tip-off, which was further corroborated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) while probing a case related to ISIS.
India’s warning to Sri Lanka was confirmed by Sri Lanka's commissioner Pujuth Jayasundara. He said that 10 days before the attacks, an alert was issued nationwide, warning top officers that suicide bombers were planning to target “prominent churches”.
“A foreign intelligence agency has reported that the NTJ is planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian high commission in Colombo,” said the alert.
The alert did not name any Indian agency as it was an internal secret communication.
After the attack, the NIA, which also had given clues of a possible attack, paced up the investigation into the cases related to the ISIS.
The Kerala connection
The NIA had arrested a Palakkad resident for allegedly planning a suicide attack in Kerala. The accused Aboobacker Siddique confirmed the NIA’s suspicion when he confessed that he intended to carry out a suicide bombing in Kerala.
The 29-year-old man confessed to the police that he was advised by his handlers from Syria and Afghanistan to plan an attack in Kerala on the New Year’s Day. He was planning to attack Kochi, as it is one of the leading tourist destinations in Kerala.
According to sources, Siddique had been watching videos and listening to speeches of Zahran Hashim, the mastermind behind the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka. On April 28, the NIA had conducted raids at three places, two in Kasaragod and one in Palakkad.
The Kashmir connection
Sri Lanka's Army chief Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake has made a startling revelation that the bombers who had attacked churches in Sri Lanka had visited Kashmir and got trained in Kerala.
In an interview to BBC World, the Army chief said, "They had gone to India, Kashmir, Bengaluru, Kerala state. That is the information available with us."
On bombers' motive to travel to India, the Sri Lankan Army chief said that the exact reason was not yet known.
Meanwhile, Indian officials have claimed that they are yet to ascertain whether the bombers had visited Kashmir.
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Last Updated May 4, 2019, 6:35 PM IST