On January 17, 2019, an elite unit of Sri Lankan police commandos raided the remote compound near the Wilpattu National Park wildlife sanctuary, where the two suspects were known to be hiding when the shocking discovery was made at the makeshift compound operated by Islamic jihadis. The current explosives seizure has thwarted a significant Islamic terror attack in Sri Lanka. Authorities indicate the terrorists were planning to destroy sacred Buddhist shrines in the ancient city of Anuradhapura with C4 high explosives; many innocent people could have lost their lives. The amount of explosives that was seized, along with 100 detonators, would have destroyed an historical epicenter of Buddhism and Sri Lankan civilization in Anuradhapura. There is the possibility of more explosives being hidden in the area of the compound or throughout Sri Lanka.
According to Economy Next official sources said the discovery was made during investigations into recent hate attacks against Buddha statues elsewhere in the country in an apparent attempt to spark tensions between majority Buddhists and minority Muslims.
The same group of Islamic jihadists in the house at the remote compound were inciting youths into vandalizing Buddha statues to stoke tensions with the Sinhalese Buddhist community, in order to purposefully provoke a reaction to manipulate some negative publicity against the Sinhalese. In other words, these jihadists were deliberately trying to create a larger public backlash from the Sinhalese against Muslims throughout Sri Lanka as part of an elaborate sinister scheme, akin to a false flag operation, by destroying the Buddha statues. The completion of their evil plans to destroy larger holy shrines of Buddhism using C4 in the ancient city of Anuradhapura may have triggered a widespread conflict inside Sri Lanka. Similar tactics of deception to manipulate publicity are commonly used by jihadists across the world, but in this particular case they have been exposed by Sri Lankan authorities with the intentions to create a climate of religious conflict.
Leading Sri Lankan English-language newspaper The Daily Mirror reported country’s Crime Investigation Department (CID) obtained a three-month detention order from the defence secretary to interrogate the four suspects who were found in possession of some 100 kilos of explosives and 100 detonators at Lacktowatta in Wanathawilluwa, Puttalam. The suspects including the owner of the land where some of the explosives were buried, were arrested by the CID. The defence secretary is empowered to grant a detention order for 90 days.
According to Shwe Kalaung of the Jihad Watch, “the increasing global problem of Islamic terrorism is now becoming a harsh reality in Sri Lanka. The four men arrested at the compound with the explosives are being held for three months for further interrogation, with permission from the Defense Ministry under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, to establish more information about their network and motives. There have been no prior Islamic terror attacks in Sri Lanka, and authorities are wondering if this new jihadist group in Wanathawilluwa, the northwest region of the island, has connections to international Islamic terror organizations. The evil purpose of these explosives is yet to be determined.
“A recent rise of Islamic jihad activity in Sri Lanka has been paralleled by a rise in Islamic gangs who are controlling the drug trade. The historic heroin seizure in December, 2018 shows a direct link to networks in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Ruthless Islamic gangs are known to control the underworld in Sri Lanka, and have been connected to the recent assassination plot of the President, along with several other political leaders in late October 2018. Not much information is known about this new radical Islamic group which was caught with the explosives or their connections to the underworld in Sri Lanka, but the common purpose of these Islamic gangs and jihadist networks is to create conflict and political instability inside Sri Lanka. Many Sri Lankans, both Tamils and Sinhalese, believe they have become the target of Islamic jihadis over the last few years; growing evidence shows their fears are not unfounded, since there have been no previous historic problems with Islamic terror in Sri Lanka.”
According to the US State Department‘s Country Report On Terrorism 2015, Chapter 2: South & Central Asia Overview: “In July, Sri Lanka saw the first confirmation that Sri Lankans had joined ISIL when social media announced the death of Sharfaz Shuraih Muhsin, an ISIL fighter from Sri Lanka, after he was killed in coalition airstrikes in Syria. Thauqeer Ahmed Thajudeen – Muhsin’s brother-in-law and fellow Sri Lankan national – was later identified as a member of ISIL in Syria. According to media reports quoting Turkish government sources, 10 members of Muhsin’s family went to Iraq through Turkey. Sri Lankan Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi said that although there were reports of Sri Lankans joining ISIL, there was no concrete evidence to suggest the group was operating in Sri Lanka”.
ARSA has links with ISIS:
Although until recently, Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) was known as a Myanmar-based Islamist terror outfit, latest information reveals, this group already is linked with Islamic State (ISIS). Recent attacks against Buddhists, such as the killing of two monks at a temple in Thailand, or the smashing of statues from a Hindu temple in India, show a heightened level of daily regional jihadist activity. In Rakhine State, Myanmar, Islamic terror led to a complete insurgency in late August 2017 from the ISIS-linked terror organization Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) that was formed in 2012. This insurgency was masterminded by Pakistani spy agency Inter Service Intelligence (ISI) through a Pakistan-born Saudi imam, Ata Ullah, who also is known as the head of ARSA. So the war on terror in Asia has literally become like an all-out war in the countries of the Golden Horseshoe Caliphate.
Jamaat e Islami joins ISIS nexus:
Bangladesh government has faced with a rise of jihadist activity from powerful jihadist factions such as Al Qaeda-linked Ansar Al Islam (AAI) and ISIS-linked Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) inside the country. Since August 2018, Jamaat e Islami (JI) has taken control of production and sale of Yaba pills (methamphetamines) in Myanmar. The nexus is now selling this narcotic through a network of drug dealers inside Bangladesh. According to information, although the illegal trade of Yaba was earlier controlled by leaders of ruling Awami League, the control of this trade gradually now is going into the grips of JI cadres as well as members of other jihadist outfits in Bangladesh. It is even learnt by counterterrorism experts, an infamous Awami League leader known for his direct involvement in Yaba trade has secretly joined hands with newly formed JI controlled nexus.
Each month, Yaba pills worth US$ 20-25 million are smuggled inside Bangladesh mainly through Bangladesh-Myanmar border. Members of Jamaat e Islami are handling such huge trade by establishing secret distribution centers within Chittagong division while ARSA men are coordinating it from Myanmar.
Narco-money spent into jihadist activities:
Cash proceeds of Yaba pills trade are secretly handed over to Pakistani ISI by JI men in Bangladesh which is subsequently used in buying arms and explosives for ARSA and other jihadist outfits in Bangladesh. Similar method is also followed in other South Asian nations such as India, Sri Lanka, Maldives and Nepal. With the help of Jamaat e Islami, ISIS has been very successfully expanding its existence and network within the South Asian countries.