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ISIS-linked Extremist Group Behind Sri Lanka Blasts Has Rs 140 Million in Cash, Assets Worth Rs 7 Billion

Part of the cash has been seized by the Lankan CID and the remainder was found deposited in several bank accounts that have since been suspended, police said.


Updated:May 7, 2019, 8:31 AM IST
ISIS-linked Extremist Group Behind Sri Lanka Blasts Has Rs 140 Million in Cash, Assets Worth Rs 7 Billion
A woman reacts next to two coffins during a mass burial for victims of the Sri Lanka bombings. (Image: AP)

Colombo: The Islamic State-linked Sri Lankan extremist group National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ), which was behind the dastardly Easter Sunday bombings, was found with more than Rs 140 million in cash and other assets worth over Rs 7 billion, the police said on Monday.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has identified more than Rs 140 million cash and other assets worth over Rs 7 billion belonging to the terror group involved in the Easter Sunday attacks that ripped through the island nation killing hundreds, police spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekera said.

The assets and the cash were found during the investigations by the CID, police said. "Half of the cash has been taken under CID custody and the remainder was found deposited in several bank accounts. The CID has taken measures to suspend those accounts," Gunasekera said.

Gunasekera said since the April 21 attacks, in which over 250 people were killed, around 73 suspected members of the NTJ have been arrested and are being questioned by the CID and the Terrorist Investigation Department (TID).

"There are 54 suspects, including seven women, in CID custody, while 19 others, including two women, are in TID custody, he said.

More than 250 people, including 11 Indians, were killed and nearly 500 others injured in the coordinated suicide bombings, which targeted three Catholic churches and three luxury hotels.

The Islamic State terror group claimed the attacks, the island nation's worst, but the government blamed ISIS-linked local Islamist extremist group NTJ. The government has banned the NTJ and arrested more than 100 suspects in connection with the blasts.

The move to ban the outfits came after the Lankan parliament adopted a newly-enforced emergency regulation on Wednesday following a series of eight coordinated blasts, which ripped through three churches and three high-end hotels frequented by tourists, on April 19 in the country's deadliest violence since the devastating civil war ended in 2009.

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