Sri Lankan names Naufar Maulavi as mastermind behind 2019 Easter bombings

The Sri Lankan government has disclosed the name of the mastermind of the 2019 Easter bombings that killed around 270 people

Apr 07, 2021
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The Sri Lankan government has disclosed the name of the mastermind of the 2019 Easter bombings that killed around 270 people. An Islamic preacher, Naufer Maulavi, has been identified by Sri Lankan security services behind the gruesome attack. 

Sarath Weerasekra, Sri Lanka’s minister of public security, on Tuesday, said Naufer Maulavi-- currently under the custody of Sri Lankan security forces- and Hajjul Akbar were the key motivators in the attack. 

Maulavi was one of the founding members of the National Tawheed Jamaat (NTJ), the group responsible for the 2019 attacks. The Sri Lanka-based group pledges its allegiance to ISIS. 

Weerasekra claimed that he brought the ideology of ISIS to the island nation in 2014. Later in 2016, he directed Saharan Hashim- one of the suicide bombers- for extremist activities in the country, according to a report in the Colombopage. 

Also on Tuesday, the Sri Lankan Public Security Ministry had announced that they had arrested ten people linked to Zahran Hashim, a radical Islamic preacher who also blew himself in the same attacks. 

The arrests came after they were deported from other countries to Sri Lanka.  

Earlier this year, the US Department of Justice had charged Maulavi and two other suspects for providing material support to ISIS.

For some weeks now, especially after the release of the Presidential Inquiry Commission into the attacks, the Sri Lankan government had been facing public heat for not disclosing the identities of the key conspirators. 

Asked if the former President Maithripala Srisena--under whose watch the attacks took place-- would be charged for negligence, the minister replied, “We don’t intervene in these matters. The AG (Attorney general) will decide.” 

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