Pictures link Muslim Brotherhood’s Qaradawi to Sri Lanka plot suspects
Pictures have emerged linking the organisation Sri Lankan police accuse of being behind the series suicide bombings that killed more than 350 people on the island on Sunday with Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the Muslim Brotherhood’s spiritual head who is based in Qatar and often travels to Turkey.
Sri Lankan police have blamed Zahran Hashim, also known as Zahran Hashemi, for the attacks. Hashim is leader of Jamaat al-Tawhid al-Watania, a Sri Lankan offshoot of an Indian organisation of the same name.
After the bombings, Islamic State (ISIS) published a video showing Hashim and a group of masked men swearing allegiance to the extreme jihadist group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Salman Al Nadwi, the founder of the Indian branch of Jamaat al-Tawhid al-Watania, swore allegiance to ISIS in a video posted online in 2014 and has also praised Qaradawi as "the undisputed imam of Muslims". Nadwi has been pictured alongside Qaradawi, who moves between Qatar and Turkey.
Qaradawi has also voiced support for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
“Turkey is facing plots by those who don’t like to see this nation [rising] and by the West,” Qaradawi told the opening session of the International Union for Muslim Scholars general assembly in Istanbul in late 2018.
“They would have succeeded but for Allah’s support for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his brothers” he said.
The fact that Moroccan intelligence services provided Sri Lankan authorities with the information about the attacks indicated a Middle East dimension to their organisation, analysts said.