Zakir Naik Under Scanner, His Organisation is Linked to JuD Website
Deep linkages between controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks mastermind Hafiz Saeed has come to the fore.
Mumbai: Controversial preacher Zakir Naik's Mumbai-based organisation is listed as a resource for religious learning on the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) website, CNN-News18 found out on Thursday.
Naik's Islamic Research Foundation is the only South Asian centre listed on the site, thus showing a link between the preacher and the 26/11 terror mastermind Hafiz Saeed who runs JuD.
This was revealed after accessing the website through a virtual private network (VPN) as it has been banned in India since the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.
CNN-News18 has also learnt that at least two of the accused in the 2006 Mumbai train blasts had told investigating agencies that they were inspired by Naik.
Sources said one of them, Feroz Ghaswala, was recruited at Naik's sermon in Srinagar in 2003 by Rahil Sheikh, the alleged mastermind of the blasts. Sheikh had spent much of his time at Naik's office in Mumbai.
Another suspect in the attack, Irfan Deshmukh, allegedly worked as a librarian at the IRF.
Earlier in the day, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis directed the Mumbai Police to probe Naik's speeches and the sources of his funds.
"Zakir Naik's public documents, videos and social media posts are being examined, " a Mumbai police official said.
The probe was ordered a day after the Bangladesh government informed the Centre that two of the terrorists involved in last week's Dhaka siege were apparently influenced by Naik.
Naik has refuted all allegations of terror links, and has welcomed a probe into his foundation.
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