Sat. Nov 28th, 2020

By Rathindra Kuruwita

The CID was aware of the possibility of a terrorist attack following the detection of explosives at the Wanathawilluwa Jihadist Training Camp and had promptly informed former IGP Pujith Jayasundara about it, former SDIG of the CID, Ravi Seneviratne yesterday told the PCoI probing Easter Sunday attacks.

Seneviratne said the CID had begun investigating the attacks on the Buddha statues at Mawanella in December 2018 and the detection of explosives in Wanathawilluwa was a result of those investigations,

Seneviratne also told the PCoI that he had requested Jayasundara to inform the National Security Council (NSC) of the possi bility of a terrorist attack. The former IGP had said he no longer attended the NSC.

Seneviratne said: “Through these investigations we found information about National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ) and its leader Zahran Hashim. It was Jayasundara who asked me to investigate the Mawanella incident and I instructed the Director and the DIG in charge of the CID to send a team to the area.”

The witness said that the CID had not been aware of Hashim’s direct links to extremist activists before the Wanathawilluwa raid. However, investigations had revealed that Hashim was a frequent visitor to the place.

“We also found a diagram of explosive devices,” he said.

The CID had also sent a progress report on the detection made at the Wanathawilluwa Jihadist Training camp to the IGP on January 26, 2019, Seneviratne said.

“Before the detection, the State Intelligence Service (SIS) had not shared their reports with us. However, after Wanathawilluwa, former Director of the SIS, SDIG Nilantha Jayawardena frequently shared information with the CID. We also spoke about the contents of the report over the phone.”

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