Following Sunday’s series of jihadist attacks, situation in Sri Lanka already seems to be fluid. While country’s health minister Rajitha Senaratne blamed a little known radical Islamist group named National Thowheeth Jama’ath stating, “There was an international network without which these attacks could not have succeeded”, there are various speculations centering these nefarious attacks. Some analysts even are holding Sri Lankan intelligence agencies responsible for their failure in alerting the government ahead of such incidents. Most importantly, no one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, which targeted Roman Catholic churches holding Easter services and high-end hotels favored by foreign tourists. On Monday, officials said the death toll had risen to at least 290, with about 500 others wounded. The Sri Lankan authorities have so far arrested two dozen suspects, but declined to identify them.
Sri Lanka was already alerted of the attack:
At least ten days before attacks, a Middle East based intelligence agency gave security officials a detailed warning of a possible threat to churches by the National Thowheeth Jama’ath. Similar alerts were also echoed by a Western intelligence agency. But the matter was not conveyed even to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremersinghe. Now authorities are investigating the reason behind such dubious behavior of Sri Lankan intelligence agencies.
Commenting on the latest jihadist attacks in Sri Lanka, internationally acclaimed multi-award winning anti-militancy journalist and counter-militancy expert Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury said, “The statement of the Sri Lankan authorities saying local jihadist outfit National Thowheeth Jama’ath has carried out these attacks is not logical. There is no reason for any local extremist group to target churches and the tourists. Instead, there certainly is international links”.
He said, “These attacks are similar to those carried out by Al Qaeda or Islamic State (ISIS). Most importantly, the attackers had a massive plan of attacking many churches and upscale hotels during a high religious holiday. As to the National Thowheeth Jama’ath is actually an anti-Buddhist group. I personally won’t buy the theory of these attacks being carried out by National Thowheeth Jama’ath”.
From a document obtained by this newspaper, it is learnt that the Sri Lankan authorities had issued an advisory on April 11, 2019 alerting the law enforcing agencies to remain vigilant about terrorist attacks. No action had been taken by any of these law enforcing or security agencies for the sake of ensuring safety and security to the people.
Amount transferred to Sri Lanka from UAE:
Before four months, large sum of money went to Sri Lanka from United Arab Emirates. It was sent by Bangladeshi-born ISIS funder Md. Shahid Uddin Khan, who has been living in the United Kingdom for last few years along with his family. Sitting in Britain, Khans are continuing various forms of jihadist activities. Recently he has established an organization named ‘Astha’ which aims at unseating democratically elected governments in the world and replace those with Caliphate. By now, Md. Shahid Uddin Khan already has expanded his activities in Sweden and the United States through two of his recruits.
According to documents available with various intelligence agencies in Bangladesh, Md. Shahid Uddin Khan hails from a radical Muslim family while his wife Farjana Anjum too hails from a similar family background. This couple’s daughters though are living and being educated in Britain is notoriously radicalized and is working as lone wolves. They have been targeting various individuals and trying to convert them into Islam.
In January this year, Md. Shahid Uddin Khan used illegal channel in transferring an amount equivalent to ninety-two thousand dollars. This amount went from Dubai to Colombo. It may be mentioned here that, last year this newspaper published several reports exposing a secret conspiracy by a conglomerate of several jihadist outfits of staging terrorist attacks in a number of South Asian nations.
According to media reports, Islamic State (ISIS) funder Shahid Uddin Khan, his wife Farjana Anjum and daughters are already under the radar of international media for their direct involvement into jihadist activities. So far they already have formed a network, which spreads up to United States. According to information, Shahid Uddin Khan has his long-time cohort M. Sajjad Hussain and his wife who currently are residing in Texas, United States. Sajjad, being the lapdog of Shahid has been spreading radical Islam and jihadism in the US for a number of years, while Sajjad’s wife, a known high-end sex worker and former mistress of Shahid Uddin Khan are not only helping ISIS in spreading its messages in the US, he (Sajjad) also is collaborating with Shahid in ousting the democratically elected government in Bangladesh through coup. This racket already is targeting Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) and making foul bids in tarnishing the image of the organization.
Md. Shahid Uddin Khan (Army No: BA002428, Course: 8-BMA, Commission Date: 10-06-1983), who along with his wife Farjana Anjum and daughters had smuggled out millions of dollars from Bangladesh and invested in various business ventures in United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom.
In 2009, he invested two million pounds in the United Kingdom in exchange of obtaining immigrant status under Visa Tier 1, vide VAF No. 511702. Later the family had laundered an unknown amount of money and brought that into the United Kingdom.
Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Bangladesh Police, based on secret information, raided House No. 184, Road No. 2, Baridhara DOHS in Dhaka, Bangladesh on January 17, 2019. This house is owned by Md. Shahid Uddin Khan and was allegedly used as a warehouse for arms, explosives and propaganda materials of Islamic State (ISIS). During the raid, large volume of weapons, detonator, counterfeit Bangladesh currency notes and jihadist materials of ISIS were recovered by the CTTC unit.
Following this recovery, three separate cases against ISIS-funder Md. Shahid Uddin Khan, his wife Farjana Anjum, daughters and other accomplices were lodged. The cases are: Cantonment PS, Case no 10, Section-6(2)/7/11/12 of Anti Terrorism Act 2009 (amendment 2013); Cantonment PS, Case no 11, Section-25-A, Special Power Act 1974; and Cantonment PS, Case no 12, Section-19-A of Arms Act 1878.