NIA: Over 50 terror suspects influenced by Zakir Naik

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The National Investigation Agency (NIA) of India has listed more than 50 suspects involved in terrorism who were allegedly inspired by Zakir Naik’s videos and speeches.

Zakir, a Mumbai based Islamic preacher, has recently come under fire for reportedly motivating his followers toward a radical path.

The NIA is one of the agencies tasked by the Union government in India that is examining whether legal action can be taken against Naik, reports the Times of India.

NIA sources reported that the agency interrogated more than 80 people who have been arrested or detained across the country.

A few of the arrests of alleged members of SIMI, the Indian Mujahideen, and Lashkar-e-Toiba date back to 2005.

“We have identified at least 50 people who admitted to have been inspired by Naik. However, it is too early to say whether Naik can be directly linked to terrorist activities,” said an NIA officer.

On Tuesday, Hansraj Ahir, the minister of state for Home, told the Lok Sabha that there have been reports of “Some known terrorists reportedly inspired by Naik”.

The NIA officer also said the agency was proceeding “cautiously” to ensure that if a case is registered against Naik, it should be backed by strong evidence.

The accused and the suspects’ statements were also used by the NIA in its latest charge sheet against the Daesh, in which the agency has named 14 preachers, including Hamza Andreas Tzortzis, Imran Mansoor, Chaudhary, Mizanur Rahman, Abu Waleed (all from the United Kingdom), Yasir Qadhi, Yusuf Estes, Hamza Yusuf, Ahmad Musa Jibril (from the US), Musa Cerantonio, Shaikh Feiz Mohammad, Omar El Banna (from Australia), Mufti Menk from Zimbabwe, and Majid Mahmood from Canada.

In a parallel investigation into Naik’s speeches and the sources of income generated by his organisation, the Islamic Research Foundation, Mumbai police said several of Naik’s speeches have been found to be “pro-terror”, but it is up to the state government to decide on legal action against him.

Source; dhaka tribune

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