A team of India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) sleuths headed by director general YC Modi would fly to Sri Lanka to probe links between Islamic State’s Kerala module and Lankan terrorist or their handlers, the Economic Times (ET) reported yesterday.
It said the Indian Home Ministry has given the go-ahead to the NIA to join the probe into the attacks. This follows Sri Lanka’s assent to share the details of the NIA investigations, officials aware of the development have said.
A top official at the Home Ministry has told ET that investigations have thrown some common linkages between the handlers of Sri Lankan bombers and self-radicalised modules in south India. “We were waiting for the confirmation from Lankan agencies,” the official said.
The federal agency had last month arrested a suspect from Kerala, identified as Riyas A. alias Riyas Aboobacker (29), who has allegedly admitted that he was following the Lankan bombers’ alleged ringleader Zahran Hashim and had plans to carry out a suicide attack in Kerala.
Aboobacker also told agencies that Hashim had radicalised several Indian youths in different parts of South India.
The Easter bombings, which killed more 250 people, were carried out by nine suicide bombers including Hashim. Global terrorist outfit Islamic State later claimed responsibility for the attack.
NIA insiders said India will share with Sri Lanka details of probe findings, including electronic evidence collected while analysing laptops and pen drives seized during the investigations into 2019 Kerala module and 2018 Coimbatore modules of Islamic State (IS).