Zakir Naik inspired more than 50 terror suspects, says NIA

August 7, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Mumbai, August 5, 2016: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has drawn up a list of more than 50 terror accused and suspects, who it says were inspired by Mumbai-based preacher Zakir Naik’s speeches and videos+ . The NIA is one of the agencies tasked by the Union government to examine whether legal action can be initiated against Naik for ‘inciting’ people.

The NIA sources told Mumbai Mirror that the agency questioned more than 80 people arrested or detained from across the country. Some of the arrests date back to 2005, of alleged members of the SIMI, the Indian Mujahideen, and Lashkar-e-Toiba.

“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,” an NIA officer said. 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 officer said that 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, such 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.

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

“We will send a report to the state government, and the law and judiciary department will decide further action,” a senior Mumbai Police officer said.

Zakir Naik, who is believed to be in Saudi Arabia+ , was not available for comment, and messages sent to the officials of the Islamic Research Foundation remained unanswered.

During his media interaction last month, Naik said he cannot be held responsible for others’ actions, after it emerged that a few of the terrorists who attacked a cafe in Dhaka were inspired by his speeches.

Calling it a trial by the media, Naik had said that he always condemned terrorism.

– mumbai mirror

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