by Special Correspondent
Amidst the swirling vortex of conspiracy theories surrounding the Easter bombings, the shadow of a purported mastermind, Azad Maulana, once loomed ominously. However, we now unequivocally declare that Maulana is nothing more than an untrustworthy charlatan, an unreliable source in every conceivable manner. The veil has been lifted, exposing the harsh reality of his life, thanks to a documentary video unveiled this morning in Tamil.
Truth Behind Maulana’s Drama
Maulana’s overseas sojourn was not an escape from political machinations or grand plots; it was a refuge sought from the fallout of financial scandals and personal entanglements. His elaborate tales were nothing more than a façade. Some may have been duped into believing that he possessed the potential to destabilize Sri Lanka’s political landscape. But we have consistently maintained that there was no intricate conspiracy underpinning the Easter attack. It was, without a shadow of a doubt, the handiwork of a fanatical faction, driven solely by their distorted ideology. The individuals responsible for this atrocity, from its inception to its grisly conclusion, are crystal clear.
The roots of this calamity delve deep into the realm of gross negligence exhibited by officials in charge of safeguarding the public. The likes of Zahran and his cohorts exploited these lapses to the fullest. Setting aside the myriad distractions, one cannot ignore the glaring truth: had the intelligence report dispatched by the Director of State Intelligence Service to the Inspector General of Police and the Deputy Inspector General of Criminal Investigation Division on April 9, 2019, been met with decisive action, this heinous attack could have been averted. Furthermore, a subsequent intelligence report from the Director of the State Intelligence Service explicitly pointed out that Rilwan’s motorcycle explosion in the days leading up to the Easter attack was a rehearsal for a catastrophic assault. Yet, none of these warnings were heeded. These incidents lay bare the monumental incompetence and indifference of those entrusted with our safety. This attack is the catastrophic outcome of their collective failure.
Simultaneously, we must scrutinize the motives behind the statements made by retired police officers, some of whom are seeking political gains. While certain revelations about Zahran and his associates are undoubtedly accurate, it is evident that some details, known only to a select few in the realm of intelligence operations, were manipulated to serve personal political agendas. More crucial than politicizing such events is a comprehensive understanding of the intricate web of factors at play and an unwavering commitment to fulfilling our societal duty to prevent the recurrence of such horrific incidents.
The number of suicide bombers including Zahran on Easter Day is eight. One of the bombers is Mohammed Ibrahim Inshaf Ahmed alias Abu Khalil. After the attack, international investigations were conducted into all the bomb sites and all the people involved, where hundreds of electronic devices were forensically examined. Many reputed international investigative groups including the FBI and Australian Federal Police participated in it.
Leaked Farewell Message of Inshaf Ahmed alias Abu Khalil
One of the special messages revealed was the last message given by Mohammad Ibrahim Inshaf Ahmed alias Abu Khalil to his family. Foreign diplomatic sources confirmed that he shared the seven-minute-long message (part of which appears here) with his family members a moment before he detonated his bomb at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel. In the message recorded in Tamil, Inshaf has clearly explained the reason for the attack and his anger towards his family members, especially his mother. Its unofficial English translation is as follows.
“This is the message to my mother, father and brothers and sisters. I am sending this message suddenly without time. I thought that I should talk about many things. But I didn’t get a chance. I want to say briefly that my mother should apologize to God for her wrong actions. Like her father’s religion. Contact with non-believers along with actions, but it is not possible to get rid of the activities of providing assistance to the unbelievers, they are Shirk Kufr activities,” Inshaf Ahmad aka Abu Khalil said in his message.
“When you listen to this recording, I have gone to God. I want the gods to accept that this is not a suicide, but a charity that I am doing. The reason for saying that is because of the way of the God’s. If you just die, you can cut your throat at my house or go somewhere else. You can jump, but I kill people of other religions like this because I want to go to God”.
He further says: “I want to get rid of these problems. The Prophet has said that when there are problems, a good devotee should be willing to die. I made a successful trade with God. That means I sacrificed my life in my body, my money and property for the path of God. The God I prayed to me every day. Said in a dream. I didn’t do anything about these things. God showed me this way out of love. I can get rid of many sins I have by dying.”
He also said: “Sharia must come to this country. God says in the Koran to wage war on religion in order to eliminate all problems. Be sure to read the Koran, read the Hadith, and act in the same way that the Prophet has acted on something. Even if the opinion of the public does not agree with such things, it is do.”
“The Prophet is a better learned God than us. The Prophet said what God said. Whether the Prophet approves or rejects something, even if he gets angry at some of them, he does it in the same way. Everyone should know how to deal with non-Islamic people in an Islamic state and how to deal with them in a non-Islamic state. These are general messages,” he said in his last message.
“The message to mom and dad is, forgive me. I didn’t do anything wrong to you guys. Because of me, you may be in trouble. I chose this path because of God’s path. Because of this, our family will be troubled. My brothers and sisters will be troubled. My mother and father will be troubled. That being said, I can’t help but choose this path. Even if such troubles come, this is something we do for God. Even if we have disagreements about certain things, we can know the correct decision from God in the next soul. Thank you.”
“Even if you scold me after this or continue until the next soul, I will forgive you. So please forgive me too. Even if you suffer because of me, bear it. I did not give you any trouble on purpose. Due to this process, I will become “Nafadh” in the future,” he added in his message.
“Ilhamu and I will go to a very high level of action. We will end up dead. Because of that, this family can have a lot of trouble. Even the mother and father can be arrested by the police, and maybe even put in jail. I have no other choice. If you look at me, do things in God’s way. Jihad is mandatory at this time. Those dogs are killing Muslims in groups and enjoying themselves in hotels here,” he concluded his message.
Profound complexity of the fanatic mindset
The profound complexity of the fanatic mindset is laid bare in the words of an individual, one of the scions of the renowned spice trader, Mohammad Ibrahim. This starkly illustrates the distorted thinking that festers when dogma takes hold. A meticulous examination of such utterances underscores the urgent need for the enactment and rigorous enforcement of anti-radicalization laws. Alas, numerous non-governmental organizations in Sri Lanka have callously obstructed the crucial institutional efforts required to combat this menace. Matters have been further muddied by the irresponsible actions of some within the Attorney General’s Department, who have failed to grasp the deep and ominous gravity of these issues.
It was none other than Insaf Ahmed who, in the wake of the Digana unrest in March 2018, procured swords and firearms, clandestinely distributing them to select individuals. Investigative findings have also established his role in funneling $23,500 to a person named Muhuzeen in Dehiwala in November 2018 for dispatch to Syria. Moreover, incontrovertible evidence shows that on April 17, 2019, Rilwan received a staggering 34 million rupees from his company, with an additional 59 million rupees allocated for the sustenance of the families of the assailants. These are the irrefutable facts that illuminate the truth surrounding the Easter attack.
Nevertheless, dismissing such incidents as mere political conspiracies would only serve to embolden those who have, in various guises, lent support to these extremists. These wolves in sheep’s clothing, donning various disguises, seek to shroud the authentic truth by branding this attack as a mere political ploy. It is no surprise that we, as a nation often blinded by ignorance and tragically slow to learn from historical calamities, have been susceptible to these conspiracy theories. But it remains our hope that they will eventually awaken to the encroaching reality, albeit when it’s far too late.
This article is based on the original publication in The Leader, an online daily newspaper in Colombo.