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uv aW Prominent Muslim Political Leader And His Brother Arrested In Connection With Easter Sunday Bombings - Nobelie

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Prominent Muslim Political leader And His Brother arrested in connection with Easter Sunday bombings

Posted by on May 3, 2021 — Drop A Comment

A prominent Muslim political leader in Sri
Lanka and his brother were arrested over
the weekend in connection with the 2019
Easter Sunday suicide bombings of three
churches and three hotels in Colombo,
Negombo and Batticaloa that killed over
269 people.

Rishad Bathiudeen, a former cabinet
minister and the leader of an opposition
party in Parliament, and his brother, Reyaj
Bathiudeen, were arrested in pre-dawn
raids due to circumstantial and “scientific”
evidence connecting them to the attacks,
according to a police spokesperson.
Police spokesperson Ajith Rohana said the
brothers allegedly aided and abetted those
“who committed the Easter Sunday
carnage,” The Associated Press reports.
On April 23, Bathiudeen’s post
on Facebook called the arrest unjust,
saying his brother had already been
“The CID has been standing outside my
house in Boudhaloka Mawatha since [1:30
a.m.] today attempting to arrest me without
a charge,” the leader of the All Ceylon
Makkal Congress Party wrote. “… I have
been in Parliament, and have cooperated
with all lawful authorities until now. This is

Bathiudeen’s lawyer, Rushdhie Habeeb,
called the arrests politically motivated and
said there was no reason given.
Habeeb argued that the purpose of the
arrest was to “punish the political
leadership of the Muslims, which had
nothing to do with 21/4, for the dastardly
acts of some Muslim youths who were
widely alleged as having been used as
pawns by foreign powers,” he said in a
No one has been charged with the suicide
bombings, though nearly 200 people were
arrested in the days following the
bombings by Islamic extremists, according
to Agence France Presse.
The arrests came three days after Cardinal
Malcolm Ranjith, the head of Sri Lanka’s
Roman Catholic Church, accused the
government of allowing investigations of
the attack to be stalled.

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During a commemoration of the second
anniversary of the attacks on April 21,
Ranjith joined with Catholic, Buddhist,
Hindu and Muslim leaders at St. Anthony’s
Shrine in Colombo, the location of the first
bomb explosion during the Easter
service, AP reported.
The cardinal claimed players in global
geopolitics use religious extremism as a
way to achieve their goals. The Catholic
Church suspects a larger foreign
involvement is to blame.
Sri Lankan Muslims have disowned the
attackers and refused to allow the bodies
of the suicide bombers to be buried in their
President Gotobaya Rajapaksa’s
government came to power in 2019 and
faces pressure to find the mastermind
responsible for the attack.
“We are surprised that even after two
years, answers to the questions of who and
why and what of these attacks have not
been found by the relevant authorities,”
Ranjith was quoted as saying. “We often
see that there are political reasons behind
some of the investigations stalling.”

“Even though we wish to forgive all these
things, we would like to know what really
happened,” he continued.
Nearly 300 lives were lost and over 500
were injured in the 2019 Easter morning
suicide bombings. Of those killed, 39 were
tourists, including five American nationals
and a fifth-grade student from a
Washington, D.C., private school.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for
the multiple, simultaneous bombings, one
of the largest coordinated terrorist attacks
since Sep. 11, 2001.

Days after the attack, the government
announced Islamic terror cell Nations
Thawahid Jaman was involved in the
attacks and suggested the attackers likely
had assistance from international terror
organizations, such as al-Qaeda or the
Islamic State, due to the sophistication of
the attacks.
Not long after the attack, Sri Lanka’s
minister of defense said the attacks “were
carried out in retaliation” for the shootings
at two New Zealand mosques that killed 50
people a month before.
In January, the U.S. Department of Justice
announced that three Sri Lankan citizens
were charged with conspiring to provide
material support to a group called “ISIS in
Sri Lanka” that is believed to be
responsible for the 2019 Easter attacks.
The department announced that a total of
five U.S. nationals were killed, including a
Department of Commerce employee who
traveled to Sri Lanka on official business.
“According to these charges, the
defendants were committed supporters of
ISIS, recruited others to ISIS’s violent
cause, purchased materials for and made
IEDs, helped to prepare and trained others
who participated in the attacks, and
murdered in the name of this deadly
foreign terrorist organization,” a
statement from the department reads.
“They are in custody in Sri Lanka.”
The Sri Lankan government was reportedly
warned of possible attacks against
Christians in early April, weeks before the
bombings occurred through information
received from foreign intelligence.
This has caused many to question why the
attacks were not prevented if the
government was warned weeks in
Violent attacks were common in Buddhist-
majority Sri Lanka during its Civil War,
which lasted from 1983 to 2009.
In recent years, there has been increased
tension between Muslim groups and the
majority Sinhalese, the largest ethnic group
in Sri Lanka.
Buddhists make up about 70% of the Sri
Lankan population .

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