ONE: Item in Daily News, 17 August 2017, entitled “CID Director: 12 hard core terrorists, 63 suspects detained”
CID Director SSP Shani Abeysekara yesterday disclosed that 63 suspects are currently held in custody over their links to Easter Sunday terrorist attacks, including 12 hard core terrorists. He said among them are about 4 to 5 suicide attackers who had not detonated their bombs on the Easter Sunday.
Army Chief Mahesh Senanayake cannot claim he had no knowledge about the National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ), the CID Director argued yesterday. Abeysekara told the media at a press briefing held at the CID yesterday that Army Intelligence officials had attended the initial investigations when CID sleuths initially discovered a haul of explosives of the NTJ in Wanathawilluwa on January 17, 2019.
“So how can he claim he did not have any knowledge when his intelligence officials were there and even gathered necessary information,” he asked. According to Abeysekara, the CID’s notes on the investigation is proof that Army intelligence was present in Wanathawilluwa.
Addressing allegations that the Easter Sunday attacks took place due to intelligence officials being arrested for various crimes, Abeysekara said prior to 2015 those labelled as ‘war heroes’ were not incarcerated and roamed free but nevertheless, horrific acts of terrorism still took place in the country.
According to Abeysekara, the CID had attempted to locate Zahran Hashim following the discovery of the explosives haul in January as it was linked to him and the NTJ during investigations. “We travelled across the country,” he said adding that however the communication application ‘Threema’ used by the terrorists was one of the main stumbling blocks in investigations.
Questioned by the journalists on the CID Director’s statement to the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) that there was no proof to establish direct links between the Easter Sunday attacks and the ISIS, Abeysekara pointed out that the ISIS Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi took several days to claim responsibility for the attacks and that there was no proof that the suicide bombers had training in Syria or had direct communication with the ISIS.
TWO: Item in Dily News, 17 August 2019 = “16-yr-old with NTJ weapons training detained”
A 16-year-old youth, son National Thawheed Jama’ath organization (NTJ) leader Zahran Hashim’s deputy Naufar Maulawi, was arrested by the Ampara Police yesterday. The arrested individual had received firearms training in Nuwara Eliya. The arrest was made by the Ampara Police following a tip-off received by the State Intelligence Service Unit in Ampara.
The suspect is a resident of Kakunagolla, Kurunegala. The youth’s father, Naufar Maulawi, is also currently in CID custody. The Ampara Police has also arrested more than 13 suspects in connection with the Jamaath Millathe Ibrahim organization, the partner group with NTJ in the Easter Sunday bombings.
THREE: Item in News First in May 2019 = “1166 military camouflage uniforms discovered at Seeduwa”
COLOMBO (News 1st) – Two individuals were arrested with 1116 military uniforms (camouflage) by the Seeduwa Police Division during a search operation conducted in the area yesterday (May 07). The camouflages resembling Air-Force uniforms were discovered when a lorry in Raddolugama was inspected. The driver of the lorry and his assistant were arrested. The police stated that the uniforms were being transported without a valid license.
Additionally, 28 swords, a knife and 3 air rifles have been handed over to the Seeduwa Police Division by the residents of the area.