Colombo: A 47-year-old moulavi, an Islamic preacher, was arrested at the Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) in Colombo on charges of using social media platforms to air extremist views, the police said on Sunday.
The suspect, a resident of Vavuniya, was arrested on Saturday morning by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) upon his arrival from Mecca after performing Hajj, The Daily Mirror reported.
The police said that the suspect was organizing pilgrimage tours to Mecca.
The moulavi has been remanded till May 14 after he was produced before the Negombo Magistrate’s Court a day before.
The arrest comes after eight coordinated explosions jolted Sri Lankan cities of Colombo, Negombo, Kochchikede and Batticaloa on April 21 as the Christian community celebrated Easter. Islamic State or Daesh claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks that left 257 people dead and several hundred others injured.
In the wake of the attacks, Sri Lankan authorities, last month, banned two local Islamist groups, including the National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ), and the splinter group Jamathei Millathu Ibrahim (JMI), affiliated to the Islamic State.