Three Lankans charged in U.S. | Sunday Observer
Easter Sunday attacks

Three Lankans charged in U.S.

10 January, 2021

Three Sri Lankans have been charged with terrorism offences, including conspiring to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organisation (ISIS), a media release from the Department of Justice of the United States stated on Friday.

In a statement released on Friday (8), the Department said the men identified as Mohamed Naufar, Mohamed Anwar Mohamed Riskan and Ahamed Milhan Hayathu Mohamed were part of the group called ‘ISIS in Sri Lanka’, which was responsible for the 2019 Easter Sunday attacks.

They were charged with conspiring to provide, providing, and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organisation, while Naufar and Milhan are charged with aiding and abetting the receipt of military-type training from the ISIS.

“The defendants named in the complaint, along with other suspects linked to the attacks, currently are detained in Sri Lanka, where a criminal investigation is ongoing,” the statement added.

The attacks killed over 250 people and injured hundreds more. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks two days after they were carried out in Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa.

 Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers in the US said they will support Sri Lankan investigations to hold the defendants accountable for their crimes.

“ISIS’s Easter attacks in Sri Lanka killed 268 people, including five Americans, many while they worshipped,” Demers said, “Today, we charge these defendants with bearing their share of the responsibility for these deaths.

According to these charges, the defendants were committed supporters of ISIS, recruited others to ISIS’s violent cause, purchased materials for and made Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), helped to prepare and trained others who participated in the attacks and murdered in the name of this deadly foreign terrorist organisation.

“They are in custody in Sri Lanka. We fully support the Sri Lankan investigation and prosecution of these terrorists and will continue to work with the authorities there to pursue our shared goal of holding these defendants accountable for their crimes. At the same time, these charges reflect that the U.S. justice system remains a powerful tool to bring to bear against those who harm our citizens abroad. We will continue to pursue justice for the victims of these heinous attacks and for all American victims of terrorism.”

The U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California also said the US is confident of the ‘Sri Lankan authorities’ ability to bring the perpetrators to justice – and this complaint makes clear that we stand ready with these charges in the event the defendants attempt to evade justice.’