More lapses of ex-law enforcement officials come to light | Sunday Observer
Easter carnage

More lapses of ex-law enforcement officials come to light

More lapses of former law enforcement officials in preventing the horrific Easter Sunday attacks were laid bare before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the Easter Sunday attacks this week.

The damning revelations including that of a second attack possibly planned were made by an intelligence officer of the State Intelligence Service (SIS).

Appearing before the Commission on Wednesday the officer revealed that specific information about several suspected extremists was provided to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) by the Eastern Province Unit of the SIS prior to the attack on April 21, 2019.?

According to the intelligence officer, information and a list of 94 persons connected to the National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) were sent in November 2017 to IGP Pujith Jayasundara who has now been sent on compulsory leave over failing to prevent the attacks. He also revealed that yet another list containing 129 names was sent to the CID in January 2018 but to no avail.?

He also told the Commission that the CID was provided with information on more suspects in early March 2019, and that a team from the CID visited the East, particularly Pasikudah on March 7 thereafter.?

According to his testimony on the day of the attack one suspect the SIS had provided information on, identified as Army Mohideen, had been arrested in Oddamavadi. He pointed out that till the arrest of Mohideen, the CID had failed to arrest any other suspect the SIS had provided them information on.?

As the Commission probed further into the failure to arrest the suspects the intelligence officer told the Commission that he believed Army Mohideen, a leading figure in the NTJ was not arrested by the CID even after the revelations as he maintained close connections with several CID officers. He said the SIS had found out that Army Mohideen had fled his house in Kattankudy after a warrant was issued for his arrest. According to the officer, SIS was able to trace Mohideen to an empty plot of land in Pasikuda where he was believed to be hiding but was not able to arrest the suspect due to legal limitations.?

He said the CID was provided with the information and a team led by Sub Inspector Dias of the CID visited Pasikudah with a team. While the CID failed to arrest Mohideen, the SIS arrested him in April following the attacks under special provisions allowing SIS to arrest terror suspects linked to the attacks. The memory of the phone used by the suspect had already been wiped clean by the time, he added.?

The officer also made a startling revelation when he told the Commission that the NTJ terror outfit had possibly planned a second attack targeting the Kandy Esala Perahera. The officer said a suspect arrested following the attacks identified as Nawfer Moulavi had confirmed this information. The suspect had further revealed that if the remaining members of the group were not able to stay hidden till then, it had been decided that they would launch an attack on a Buddhist religious site. A group of 12 members had been prepared to launch the second attack, the suspect had told investigators. The officer told the Commission that during investigations it was also revealed the group had obtained eight safe houses in Ampara to stay hidden till August, 2019. He noted that had the SIS not obtained information on the second attack to prevent it and arrest the suspects, the devastation would have been immeasurable.?

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the Easter Attacks this week also visited several locations connected to the Easter Sunday attacks. The members of the Commission visited the location in Thananagar, Nallur where it is believed that the terror mastermind had undergone weapons training. During the visit, a scrap book belonging to the daughter of a suspect identified as Army Mohideen now under arrest was found at the site.?