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Sri Lankan police arrest 'handler' of four suspected ISIS terrorists nabbed in Gujarat

The 46-year-old terror suspect, Osman Pushparaja Gerard, was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Colombo, according to the Sri Lanka Police Media Spokesman.

Sri Lankan police arrest 'handler' of four suspected ISIS terrorists nabbed in Gujarat snt
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First Published Jun 1, 2024, 1:22 PM IST

A 'wanted' handler of four Sri Lankan ISIS terrorists, recently detained in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, was apprehended by Sri Lankan Police Intelligence on Friday. The 46-year-old terror suspect, Osman Pushparaja Gerard, was arrested by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Colombo, according to the Sri Lanka Police Media Spokesman.

Following the arrests of the four suspects by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) for their links to ISIS, Sri Lanka initiated a high-level investigation. This investigation involved the CID, the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID), and other military intelligence services.

In the pursuit of Osman, the coordinator of four ISIS suspects, Sri Lanka Police had previously offered a cash reward of two million Sri Lankan rupees to any informant.

So far, Sri Lanka Police have arrested six suspects, including the handler linked to the four detained in India.

Among those arrested in Sri Lanka are: a suspect who had prepared a flag with an ISIS logo before which the suspects had taken an oath, two other oath-takers who initially planned to go to India but later withdrew (leading to two newcomers joining the four arrested in Ahmedabad), and another suspect responsible for handling financial transactions.

On May 19, the ATS had arrested four terror suspects who had arrived on an Indigo flight from Colombo to Chennai.

Among the arrested individuals, Mohammed Nusrat, aged 35, engaged in the sale of imported telecommunication devices and electrical equipment from Singapore, Malaysia, and Dubai, had a criminal record. In September 2020, he was apprehended in Colombo for possessing heroin. Another suspect, 27-year-old Mohammad Nafran, operated a business importing clothing material and chocolates from India and Dubai.

Nafran had previously encountered legal issues, having been arrested by the Sri Lanka Police under the National Gem and Jewellery Authority Act in 2017. Notably, he was the son of Mohamed Niyas Naufer, also known as 'Potta Naufer,' a notorious underworld drug lord who received a death sentence for the murder of a High Court judge in Colombo.

The remaining two suspects, Mohammad Faris, aged 35, and Mohammad Rashdeen, aged 43, both hail from Colombo and were making their inaugural visit to India.

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