The Saudi Arabian government is said to have arrested Maulana Rila, the brother-in-law of Zahran Hashim - the mastermind of the Sri Lankan blasts on Easter Sunday. The arrest was made with the help of the Indian intelligence who provided information last week. Rila's colleague, identified as Shahnawaj, has also been arrested, reports Hindustan Times.
It is learned that Rila was close to Zahran Hashim, who was a key operative of the National Thowheed Jamaath. The NTJ had carried out the bombing targeting churches and high-end hotels in Sri Lanka. Zahran Hashim died at the Shangri-La hotel during the attack on April 21.
Two days after the bombings, the ISIS, through its news agency al-Amaq, claimed responsibility for the attack saying that it was revenge for the mosque shooting which took place in New Zealand in March. They said that the bombings were a "Bloody gift to you".
India and Saudi Arabia are working together to dig deeper and find out if there is any connection between the men arrested and the IS modules in Kasargod, Kerala.
India had previous intel regarding the bombings and had warned Sri Lanka on four separate occasions - April 4, April 10, 16 and 20. They also called up the Sri Lankan authorities just two hours before the bombings to inform them of the three targeted churches in the country.
After the bombings, the Taj Samudra, which was one of the intended targets, was asked to instal more CCTV cameras and amp up security since one of the suicide bombers was unaccounted for. The HT report states that the bomber, Abdul Latif Mohammed Jamil, could not trigger the bomb when he entered the hotel.
His bomb later detonated at Tropical Inn in Dehiwala killing a couple who couldn't escape on time.