Former Jamaat-e-Islami leader Rashid Hajjul Akbar was arrested in Sri Lanka, Akbar was arrested on Friday by the Dematagoda region terrorism investigation cell.
Rashid Hajjul Akbar, 60, former leader of the Islamic organization Jamaat-e-Islami, has been arrested for allegedly promoting extremism in Sri Lanka. Police spokesman and Inspector General of Police Ajit Rohna said on Saturday that Akbar was arrested on Friday by the Terrorism Investigation Cell (TID) in the Dematagoda area.
Akbar was president of Jamaat-e-Islami for 24 years before stepping down in September 2019. The police spokesman claimed that Akbar used to print articles in a magazine published by Jamaat- e-Islami to spread Wahhabi and jihadist ideology in Sri Lanka. The arrest comes amid a request from the investigative team investigating the 2019 Easter attack on churches and hotels to curb Wahhabi ideology in the country.
On April 21, 2019, nine suspected suicide bombers from the local extremist group National Touheed Jamaat (NITJ) targeted three Sri Lankan churches and several hotels, killing 270 people, including 11 Indians. Around 500 other people were injured in the incident. Earlier this week, Public Security Minister Sarath Veerasekara told parliament that so far 676 people have been arrested and more than 66 are in custody in connection with the 2019 attack.