How ISI radicalised Sri Lanka through the Pakistan High Commission
New Delhi, Apr 23: Sri Lanka witnessed one its worst terror attacks, a decade after it ended the reign of terror by the LTTE. After battling a civil war for years, the country has now come under the grip of Islamic terrorism.
There were warning signals since 2016 itself, when 32 elite Muslims joined the Islamic State. To trace the rise of Islamic terror in Sri Lanka, one needs to go back a couple of years.
It was Pakistan which first decided to fan the sentiments of the Muslims, who have been facing a major threat from the Buddhists. The ISI was helped indirectly by the rise of the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), a group that has been fighting for Buddhist dominance and also the eradication of both Muslims and Christians in Sri Lanka.
Back in 2014, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was tasked with the investigation of a case. The case relates to Amir Zubair Siddiqui, a top official in the Pakistan High Commission in Sri Lanka. He was sent by the ISI to set up modules, with a view of attacking the Southern part of India.
Siddiqui had trained and funded two persons, Arun Selvarajan and Sakir Hussain. They were ordered to conduct a reconnaissance of high value targets in South India. However after their arrest, the NIA probed the matter in-depth and came across some very shocking revelations.
It was found that the BBS was funded heavily by the ISI. The BBS was asked to target Muslims, which in turn made them insecure. The ISI under Siddiqui was able to capitalise on this sentiment and began roping the Muslims into their fold.
The ISI had been trying to set up shop in Sri Lanka, but had only 15 operatives. However after the BBS incident and the wave of violent attacks, the strength of its module quickly rose to 50.
Through the BBS, the ISI looked to create fear in the minds of the Muslims. The ISI in turn capitalised on this and roped in several Muslims, who were ready to take up arms and fight the BBS.