Police probing network connected to Zaharan’s Easter Sunday attack

Sri Lanka Police are probing whether Mohamad Irshad Mohamad Haris Nizar, recently designated by US authorities for doing business with Al Qaeda, was involved in the Zaharan Hashim-triggered Easter Sunday attack three years ago.

“He is possibly in a larger network relating to the attack,” a source involved with the investigations told the Sunday Times, noting that his name had been mentioned in the Easter Sunday attacks in 2019.

Last week Mr Nizar, a resident of China Fort Road, Beruwela, was designated by the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, business partner and a relative, Ahmed Luqman Talib (Talib), previously designated by the agency for facilitating the international movement of individuals and finances in furtherance of Al-Qaeda’s objectives.

The investigations have gone deeper into a situation where it was revealed that Luqman Talib (senior) is a resident of Kalaeliya, Nittambuwa, who migrated to Australia sometime ago and now is an Australian citizen.

He and his elder son (whose name was not immediately available) were remanded by the Qatari Government in 2020 and subsequently released, and now live in Qatar. The same year they too were designated by the US Department of Treasury as suspects.

Mr Luqman’s younger son in Australia – also named Ahmed – who is in the gem business, is now in Australian Government custody.

Investigations showed that Mr Nizar is the younger Ahmed’s mother-in-law’s relation who is also dealing in gems. Son Ahmed’s house in Beruwela has been sealed by the Police.

(Curtesy Sunday Times)

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