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Lanka bombings: NTJ's financial controller held

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

The Lankan police on Friday arrested a man alleged to have been in charge of the finances of the banned local Islamist extremist outfit, NTJ, linked to the ISIS, which claimed the responsibility for the Easter bombings that left 253 people dead and several hundreds injured.

National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ) leader Zahran Hashim, the mastermind behind the April 19 attacks, was killed inside the Shangri La hotel were he detonated himself.

A person named Abdul Sakthar Mohommed, who is alleged to have been in charge of the finances of the NTJ, was arrested in Gampola area, the Sri Lanka Mirror reported.

The suspect was staying in a rented accommodation located in close proximity to the home of the owner of the shoe shop where the Haq brothers, wanted by the Lankan probe agency in connection with the Easter terror attacks, were hiding, it said.

The brothers -- Sadiq Abdul Haq and Shahid Abdul Haq -- were arrested on April 29.

Two national identity cards, a photograph of the suspect dressed in army fatigues and holding a pistol and also a video on the recent clash in Theldeniya were recovered from the possession of Mohommed, the report stated.

An audio containing a message by an ISIS woman cadre instructing their members to be on high alert after the Easter attacks and informing them that they would not be able to avoid working for the organisation, was also discovered at the location.

Police also found bank slips of transactions carried out on behalf of the NTJ since 2017. There had been more than 200 transactions involving various persons providing financial assistance to the terror outfit, the report said.

A series of eight coordinated blasts, which ripped through three churches and three high-end hotels frequented by tourists on April 19 in the country's deadliest violence since the devastating civil war ended in 2009.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attacks but the government blamed the NTJ for the bombings.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, May 03 2019. 21:45 IST
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