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Alleged mastermind of Easter attacks, five others remanded

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Colombo Additional Magistrate Pasan Amarasinghe yesterday (16) ordered the remand of six suspects, including the alleged mastermind of the Easter Sunday attacks, who had relations with Sri Lankan millionaire businessman Ahmed Lukman Thalib, who is said to have provided finances to the terrorist organization Al-Qaeda, until instructions are received from the Attorney General.

The Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) informed the Court that this investigation is being conducted in accordance with a notification made by the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) that the suspects of the Easter Sunday terror attacks were in contact with Ahmed Lukman Thalib, according to their telephone records.

Accordingly, the Magistrate ordered the remand of the suspects.

The TID requested permission to detain three of the six suspects of the Easter Sunday terror attacks (suspects 11, 12 and 15), for 72 hours for questioning.

Apart from this, the TID also requested the court to obtain a statement from the suspects 18, 19 and 20 in the prison.

Ahmed Lukman Thalib was arrested by the Australian government in 2021 for providing financial facilities to Al-Qaeda and he is currently in the custody of the Australian government.

The TID informed the court that according to the phone analysis reports called in connection with 700 phone calls during the investigations made on him, facts have been revealed that the mastermind of the Easter attacks and other suspects had maintained relations with him.

The TID also informed the court that they will investigate these six suspects in accordance with Section 7(2) of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

These suspects, who are the main accused in the case being heard in the Colombo High Court regarding the Easter Sunday terror attacks, were also jailed in connection with this case.

In addition to the Sri Lankans who had relations with him, Interpol has uncovered facts regarding seven Maldivian nationals and two Australian nationals who maintained ties with Thalib. It was revealed in the court that Thalib has also worked as the main partner of a Sri Lanka-based gem company, while providing finances to Al-Qaeda. The United States of America imposed sanctions on him in 2020, accusing him of providing financial support to Al-Qaeda.

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