Sun, 16 Jun 2019

Colombo [Sri Lanka], May 22 (ANI): A member of Parliament who was arrested on charges of having close links with local Islamic terror group National Thawheed Jamaath (NTJ), has been detained and will be questioned, police said on Tuesday.

The parliamentarian, identified as Mohamed Naushad Jalaldeen, 42, who has served as a translator attached to the Hanzard Department of Sri Lankan parliament since 2006, was arrested by a special police team in Kurunegala on Monday on charges of aiding and abetting NTJ leader,Zahran Hashim, who carried out the deadly Easter Day serial bombings on April 21, The Daily Mirror reported.

Naushad is also said to be an active member of the proscribed organisation and has conducted lectures on Islam extremism in Akurana and Kandy.

During an investigation, the police seized several suspicious pieces of equipment from Naushad's house in Rajagiriya. Police said they will question the legislator for 90 days.

Security of the parliament has further been tightened following the arrest of Naushad.

Naushad was apprehended on the information obtained after questioning an electro-cardiologist of Kurunegala Teaching Hospital who was also taken into custody on suspicion with two others last Friday with links to the NTJ.

The April 21 attacks targeted three high-end hotels and three churches across the country and killed more than 250 people. The NTJ, which later claimed the attacks, is an affiliate of the Islamic State. (ANI)

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