Islamist political groups, like the Muslim Brotherhood, always claim that Muslims can never be associated with terrorism, even as Islamist military groups, including their own arms, engage in it.
National Thowheeth Jama’ath, a Sri Lankan Islamist group, has been accused of being behind the Easter Sunday bombings. A number of those arrested have links to NTJ.
While ISIS claimed credit for it, the Islamic terror group abroad operates mostly through affiliates and allies. A number of Sri Lankan Muslims had gone to fight with ISIS. But it seems unlikely that a massive terror operation like this could have been anything but a partnership between ISIS and local Islamists, with ISIS providing the vision and local Islamists actually implementing it.
That brings us back to National Thowheeth Jama’ath, which, until recently, had operated on the Muslim Brotherhood model, pushing Islamic law, while condemning bias against Muslims and claiming that it was fighting for Muslim civil rights.
The NTJ or the National Thowheed Jamath is a right-wing Islamic extremist outfit with a presence mainly in the eastern province of Sri Lanka. The group is also infamous for preaching ‘Wahabi’ Islamic teachings to its followers. Besides this, it aggressively promotes Sharia law, building of mosques, and instructs Muslim women to observe ‘purdah’.
There’s very little information available about this controversial outfit, but it is said to have originated in a Muslim-dominated eastern town of Sri Lanka – Kattankudy.
The NTJ is believed to be a splinter group of the Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamaat (STLJ), another Islamist group based in the country.
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