New Delhi: The Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan's intelligence agency, has been trying to radicalise Muslims in Sri Lanka for many years now in a bid to use them for promoting its terror activities worldwide, primarily India, a report has said.
According to Ceylon Today, a Sri Lankan newspaper, the ISI used terror organisation Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and its charitable wing, the Idara Khidmat-e-Khalq (IKK), for the purpose.
The report has set alarm bells ringing within the Pakistani establishment, as they see this as the end of an importation operations hub.
The LeT-IKK contingent was “first noticed operating in Sri Lanka in 2004, after the devastating tsunami,” said the daily.
Trained cadres of the organisation visited the Maldives and Sri Lanka at that time in the disguise of humanitarian charitable workers, seeking to recruit jihadis in these areas, added the daily.
The report reveals that many youngsters from these areas headed to Pakistan and were found in LeT training camps in Pakistan’s Punjab province and in the tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Using Sri Lanka as a staging post, the ISI’s primary and apparent objective is to encircle India from all sides. It wanted to use the island nation to access south India, both in terms of finding terror networks as well as for recruitment of cadres.
The Sri Lankan media report also reveals that in June 2009, the activities of Maulana Umar Madani were uncovered. Prior to his arrest in India, Madani was a frequent traveller to Sri Lanka.
Madani, a close confidant of JuD chief Hafiz Saeed and Abdul Rahman Makki, was developing a network in eastern Sri Lanka’s Muslim areas.
In April 2014, following the arrest of Shakir Hussain, the ISIS's plans to target the US Consulate in Chennai and the Israeli Consulate in Bengaluru were foiled. This led to the unceremonious recall of Pakistani Visa Counsellor in Sri Lanka, Amir Zubair Siddiqui, who was Shakir Hussain's handler, added the report.
It has also been exposed that the ISI used Colombo as a transit point for terror funding for smuggling fake Indian currency notes.
Further, a recent report in the Colombo Gazette has highlighted continued attempts of groups like al Qaeda to recruit cadres from Sri Lanka to wage jihad in Syria.
Such activities have also led to greater cooperation between intelligence agencies of the world’s major powers.
Recently, the intelligence sharing among India, Sri Lanka and China led to the arrest of Pakistani national, Faiz Muhammad, in Guangzhou (China) with fake Indian currency notes worth Rs 2.5 million, according to the Colombo-based report.
Faiz’s arrest was the result of a tip-off by Indian intelligence agencies to their counterparts in Colombo and Beijing.