Zakir Naik inspired the Shareeq bomber? Defendant downloaded fugitive speeches, sources say

In the latest development of the Mangaluru blast investigation, Republic has learned that defendant Shareeq was allegedly inspired by fugitive Indian Islamic preacher Zakir Naik to carry out terrorist activities. According to sources, more than 50 videos of Zakir Naik’s speeches have been found on Shareeq’s phone.

According to the sources, Shareeq has made a note stating that Zakir Naik was the real inspiration for him to carry out all the terrorist atrocities in the entire Karnataka state. Since Naik’s speeches are banned in India, Shareeq downloaded them from the dark web and watched them repeatedly for months. The Mangaluru blast defendant also used fugitive Naik’s speech and video to radicalize others. It is pertinent to mention that Zakir Naik has been accused of radicalizing Muslim youth through his hate speech.

Notably, using the dark web, Shareeq and his gang also received and transacted via cryptocurrency online, as physical handling of cash would have raised suspicions. The dark web was used as it will be difficult to trace the IP address and transaction details. The funds were likely transferred to and financed by the defendants’ handlers who are based in the Middle East. It is pertinent to mention that not only Mangaluru, Shareeq also allegedly used cryptocurrency funds in Shivamogga and Mysuru blast.

“Indian govt must put pressure on Malaysian govt over Zakir Naik”: BJP’s S Prakash

Speaking to Republic about this development, Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader S Prakash said: “Zakir Naik is on the run. His watchdog notice has already been issued by the central government. His doctrine is inspiring many young people to take up terrorist activities is very unfortunate. He calls himself a religious preacher, but instead he is preaching humanity, his speeches are against an ideology in which he does not believe.”

Adding further, he said, “The Indian government should put more pressure on the Malaysian government and even the other Islamic nations who are protecting Zakir Naik from deportation to India.”

Notably, Naik, a televangelist, fled India in 2016 and moved to Malaysia, where he was granted permanent residency. India had sent a request to Malaysia for his extradition. He is banned in the UK and Canada for his hate speech against other religions. In addition, Naik’s Islamic Research Foundation was banned by India in late 2016 for encouraging and assisting his followers to “promote or attempt to promote feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will between different communities and religious groups.”

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