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14 May, 2019 09:39

Indian intelligence monitored Sri Lanka bomb plotter 3yrs ago for links to IS – report

Indian intelligence monitored Sri Lanka bomb plotter 3yrs ago for links to IS – report

Indian Intelligence reportedly monitored a software engineer linked to the devastating Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka as far back as 2016, according to a new report.

Sri Lankan software engineer Aadhil Ameez, a 24-year-old, has been tied to both the National Tawheed Jamaath (NTJ) and the Jamathei Millathu Ibrahim (JMI) who perpetrated the attacks which killed over 250 people and injured hundreds more.

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Ameez has been in custody since April 25 and authorities believe he was the link between the two groups that carried out the attacks, providing technical and logistical support to the suicide bombers. India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) is providing assistance to Sri Lankan authorities in their investigation, having monitored the young man since 2016 for possible links to the so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Reuters reports.

Under Sri Lanka's newly imposed emergency laws, Ameez, who holds a masters degree in computer science and a bachelors in political science from UK universities, can be held indefinitely. His father, M. Ameez said the “allegations are lies.”

However, police have obtained Facebook, WhatsApp and Telegram chats with two of the suspects arrested in connection with a plot to attack a synagogue in Ahmedabad, Ubed Ahmad Mirza, a lawyer, and Stimberwala Mohamed Kasim, a hospital technician. Ameez has also been linked with three Indian men who are currently on trial for promoting IS ideology in addition to recruiting and fundraising activities.

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Investigators have yet to determine whether Ameez was a facilitator or whether he planned the attacks.

“He was the main technology person for them,” said one of the Sri Lankan police Criminal Investigation Department sources involved in the investigation. A military source said that Ammez “seems to have played an important role in setting up communications for the attackers,” which helped them to coordinate their efforts to deadly effect.

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