Sri Lanka Media: 11 Mosques Near Easter Bomber’s Home ‘Openly’ Preached Fundamentalism by Frances Martel for Breitbart
Sri Lanka’s Daily Mirror newspaper published a bombshell report Thursday revealing that the suspected Easter jihad mastermind preached in a neighborhood hosting at least 11 mosques known to practice some form of Wahhabism or fundamentalist Islam.
Wahhabism is a traditionally Saudi fundamentalist ideology of Sunni Islam named after Muslim scholar Muhammad bin Abd al Wahhab widely accused of inspiring the birth of several Sunni jihadist groups, such as al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, and the Muslim Brotherhood. The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Sri Lanka bombings.
The report casts further doubt on claims by senior Sri Lankan officials that they were not aware of any impending attacks on Christians or threat of jihadi terrorism on their soil. Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena announced Tuesday he had asked for the resignations of his head of national police and secretary of defense after a letter surfaced from Indian intelligence agencies warning prior to the massacre that Islamic terrorists were planning to attack Christians in the country on Easter.
The president denied knowledge of the letter, as did the nation’s prime minister, both condemning the senior intelligence agents who kept the information from them.
Local and international media reports have identified Zahran Hashim, the founder of a Sri Lankan Islamist group known as National Thawheed Jama’ath (NTJ), as the “mastermind” of the attacks. At press time, authorities do not believe he personally conducted any of the six suicide attacks. Some reports claim a man appearing in Islamic State propaganda claiming responsibility for the attack – the only one not covering his face – is Hashim.
In the Daily Mirror report, Hashim’s sister Mohomed Hashim Madaniya claimed the entire Hashim family went “missing” a week before the attacks and distances herself from the suspected jihadist. The alleged current head of the NTJ, Moulavi Thawufeek, also distances the group from Hashim and claims that NTJ had been warning Sri Lankan police for years that Hashim was spreading violent Islamic beliefs through sermons at his mosque.