Indian security agencies had alerted Sri Lanka that another National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ) team led by Jal al-Quital alias Rilwan Marzag could carry out more attacks, Hindustan Times reported today.
Noufar Moulvi, brother-in-law of Hashim, recently returned to Sri Lanka from Qatar and had taken charge of the group, they added.
The NTJ, the little known group blamed for the bombing of churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Sunday, appears to have been inspired by Islamic State (IS) though direct links between the two are yet to be established, people familiar with developments said on Monday.
An intelligence officer, who requested anonymity, said the attacks couldn’t have been possible without months of planning and international players travelling to Sri Lanka to take part in the execution at different stages.
The NTJ was formed in Kattankudy, a Muslim-dominated town in eastern Sri Lanka, in 2014. Its founder Zahran Hashim alias Abu Ubaida is believed to have been the suicide bomber who targeted Shangri-La Hotel with military grade explosives.
A video released by Al Ghuraba Media featured the seven suicide bombers allegedly involved in the attacks.
Except for Abu Ubaida, the others had their faces covered and the video had messages in Arabic and Tamil. A caption in the video read “O Crusaders, this bloody day (21-04) is our reward to you”, it said.