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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

IS terrorists in Dhaka attack followed Zakir Naik

News reports have claimed that two of the terrorists involved in the killing of 20 hostages in Dhaka, Bangladesh, were social media followers of controversial Muslim preacher Zakir Naik and two suspected recruiters of the Islamic State (IS).

Bangladesh’s English-language newspaper The Daily reported that one of them Rohan Imtiaz had posted on Facebook last year quoting Zakir as “urging all Muslims to be terrorists”.

The preacher had toured Malaysia in April amid much opposition from various quarters.

He was also awarded an island by the Terengganu state government to set up the local branch or the South-East Asia regional research centre for the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) which he helms.

Despite objections from Hindu groups and MIC, Zakir was allowed to deliver his lectures, but one of his topics comparing Islam and Hinduism was changed.

At that point, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had described the Indian national as a “very wise man”.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had invited him to breakfast at his residence, and expressed hope that the preacher would convey to the world the message that Malaysia is a country that practised moderation.

Similarly, PAS uploaded a photograph of its president Abdul Hadi Awang embracing Zakir in what was described as an “historical meeting”.

On Monday, inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar had confirmed that two of those involved in the attack on a restaurant in Dhaka studied at Monash university in Sunway, but could not verify if the pair were attackers or victims.

Another terrorist in the attack, Nibras Islam, reportedly used to follow IS suspected recruiters Anjem Choudary and Shami Witness on Twitter in 2014.

A British citizen of Pakistan origin, 49-year-old Anjem is now facing trial in England for breaking British anti-terrorism law whereas Shami Witness is the Twitter name of 24-year-old Mehdi Biswas of India, who is also facing trial for running propaganda for IS.

The attackers had mostly hacked their hostages, which included Italians and Japanese to death.

According to reports, the terrorists were said to be from affluent families, while Rohan was the son of a politician from Bangladesh’s ruling party Awami League.

Bangladeshi commandoes had killed at least six of the terrorists.

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