Zakir Naik, controversial Mumbai-based Islamic preacher, was followed by Dhaka attackers apart from Anjem Choudary and Shami Witness, Bangladesh’s leading newspaper Daily Star reported.
Militant Rohan Imtiaz, son of an Awami League leader, propagated on Facebook last year quoting Peace TV’s controversial preacher Nayek “urging all Muslims to be terrorists.
Naik, a popular but controversial Islamic orator and founder of Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation, is banned in UK and Canada for his hate speech aimed against other religions.
A medical doctor by professional training, Zakir Naik is a Salafist ideologue who preaches Islam across the world. He is among 16 banned Islamic scholars in Malaysia.
According to the Islamic Research Foundation, Naik has delivered over 2000 lectures across the world and is the ideologue and driving force behind Peace TV Network
He is wildly popular in Bangladesh through his Peace TV although his preaching often demeans other religions and even other Muslim sects, the report said. Naik’s lectures are in English, not Urdu or Arabic, and he wears a suit rather than traditional clothes.
Another Dhaka attacker Nibras Islam, 22, used to follow two alleged suspected recruiters of Islamic State – Anjem Choudary and Shami Witness – on Twitter in 2014.
Shami Witness is the Twitter account of 24-year-old Mehdi Biswas, who is also facing trial in India for running propaganda for the Islamic State. He was arrested in December 2014 following an investigation into his Twitter account which was last active in August 2014.
Biswas was charged for operating the “single most influential pro-ISIS Twitter account”.