Not just Dhaka attackers, Dr Zakir Naik also inspired Malwani man | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Not just Dhaka attackers, Dr Zakir Naik also inspired Malwani man

If the central and state counter-terrorism units are to be believed, Nabris Islam and Rohan Imitaz -- two of the six terrorists who attacked the Holey Artisan Café in Dhaka, Bangladesh -- are not the only youths to have been stirred by speeches of Dr Zakir Naik, who runs the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) in Mumbai.

mumbai Updated: Jul 06, 2016 15:40 IST
Presley Thomas
A Bangladeshi woman walks past a banner that reads
A Bangladeshi woman walks past a banner that reads "We stand with the bereaved" in a street near an upscale restaurant which was the site of a bloody siege that ended in the death of seventeen dead foreigners and five Bangladeshis, including two policemen, in Dhaka. (AFP)

If the central and state counter-terrorism units are to be believed, Nabris Islam and Rohan Imitaz -- two of the six terrorists who attacked the Holey Artisan Café in Dhaka, Bangladesh -- are not the only youths to have been stirred by speeches of Dr Zakir Naik, who runs the Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) in Mumbai.

Ayaz Sultan, leader of the Islamic State (IS) module in Malwani, who reportedly sneaked out of the country to reach Syria, too, was influenced by Naik’s speeches.

According to sources in the intelligence bureau, Sultan started to garner radical views during his stint with the IRF.

Naik was banned in the United Kingdom and Canada in 2010 and from addressing meetings in Allahabad, Kanpur and Lucknow in 2008 owing to his speeches. His controversial discourse inspired the likes of Najibullah Zazi, the Afghan-American arrested in 2009 in the US to allegedly plan suicide attacks on New York subway; Kafeel Ahmed, the man from Bangalore who failed to execute a suicide attack on Glasgow airport in 2007; and Rahul Shaikh, the accused in the 2006 train blasts in Mumbai.

Darul Uloom, Deoband, the Islamic school in the country, too, issued a fatwa against Naik for his speeches.

Senior police officers said counter-terrorism units have prepared a dossier related to Naik, including his bank accounts and the funds his organisation receive through zakat or tithe.

Naik’s speeches are aired mainly on English TV channel, Peace TV, which he started in 2006. Naik launched Peace TV Urdu in 2009, Peace TV Bangla in April 2011, and plans to have the channel in 10 major languages in the world.