Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardane
The intelligence services have identified Naufer Moulavi as the mastermind behind the Easter Sunday terror attack while Ibrahim brothers and several international organisations have funded the Thawheed Jamaath to carry out the attack, Public Security Minister Sarath Weerasekara said today.
He told Parliament that it was revealed that Naufer Moulavi, who was based in Qatar, had provoked Zahran and his followers to carry out the attack by brainwashing them.
He said it was also revealed that two Sri Lankan born Australian nationals Lukman Thalib and his son Lukman Thalib Ahmed had facilitated Zahran to meet four religious extremists in the Maldives.
The Minister said according to intelligence information, these extremists had met Zahran on several occasions from 2016 till the attacks took place and added that Lukman Thalib Ahmed had facilitated the meetings in Sri Lanka.
He said an international organisation called “Save the Pearl” had provided legal assistance to Zahran and his group.
The Minister said 99 suspects have been arrested in Sri Lanka and 35 suspects overseas for directly and indirectly supporting the Easter Attack, under this Government.
He also said 54 Sri Lankan suspects have been arrested in five countries and added that 50 of them have been brought down to Sri Lanka. “The other four will be brought back after legal procedures in those countries are completed,” he said.
The Minister said 35 suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident where 1,440 swords were brought to Sri Lanka from China. “Cases have been filed against seven of them,” he said.
He said legal action would be taken against all those who were involved in the attack and added that several actions will be taken to prevent such incidents in the future and ensure national security in the country.
“Wearing of the Burqa will be banned in public places. Eleven extremists organisations have been identified and steps will be taken to ban them. Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act will be amended in coordination with the Justice Ministry. Madrasas will be regulated,” he said.