By Yoshitha Perera
In August 2016, the State Intelligence Service (SIS) had informed former Minister of Law and Order Sagala Ratnayaka with regard to number of issues pertaining to Sri Lankan’s who hold the Islamic State (IS) ideology, the possible impact of the IS ideology on Sri Lanka, Sri Lankans who had joined the IS organisation and certain Madrasa schools where extremist preachings were practiced within the country, former Director of SIS Senior DIG Nilantha Jayawardena last week informed the PCoI probing Easter Sunday attacks.
Testifying before the Commission, Jayawardena said that in a presentation, the SIS had informed Ratnayaka on ‘Ishaq Ahmed’, who first went to Syria and joined IS organisation and about his brother ‘Nilam’, who later left for Syria under Ishaq’s guidance.
“Ishaq Ahmed left for Syria with his family. It was later informed that Ishaq’s brother Nilam also went to Syria with his wife, parents and six children. We got to know that two brothers joined IS and subsequently Nilam had died in an attack,” witness said.
Jayawardena said that the SIS also received information with regard to transactions made by several extremist organisations using ‘Dark Web’. “Most of these transactions happened using cryptocurrency,” witness said.
Witness said that certain extremist groups also circulated IS ideologies exchanging messages through apps, such as WhatsApp and Telegram.
Jayawardena said that the SIS had also learned, during the particular period those who had not been able to join the IS organisation, were planning to do something within Sri Lanka.
“It was more likely to planning an attack. Abdul Latif Jameel Mohammed, a resident from Kandy who detonated himself at a lodge in Dehiwala, was also identified as an individual who made such plans,” witness said.