The National Thawheed Jamaat (NTJ) had received political backing from politician Ameer Ali in 2017 and the State Intelligence Service (SIS) had informed Kattankudy police to impartially investigate the particular matter, former SIS Director SDIG Nilantha Jayawardena yesterday informed PCoI probing Easter Sunday attacks.
Jayawardena said that through a letter sent to former IGP Pujith Jayasundara in March, 2017, the SIS had informed about the activities conducted by Islamic extremists groups in Kattankudy.
Commissioners then questioned the witness whether these Islamic extremists groups received political assistance. Responding to the question the witness said these extremist groups had received political backing from certain ministers.
Jayawardena said that sharing filtered information with regard to national security, with the general public was a problem because people can take certain racist action to avoid a disastrous situation.
Responding to a question raised by a Commissioner with regard to informing of general public on the matters pertaining to Islamic extremism, Jayawardena said that if authorities had shared those information with the public, they might take extreme action and that would be another threat to national security.
The Commissioner also questioned the witness sharing information with the public would have helped to arrest Zahran.
Jayawardena said sharing information with pubic might be an easiest way to arrest Zahran during that time but certain actions could have created chaos.
Jayawardena informed the Commission that through a letter shared with former Defence Secretary Karunasena Hettiarchchi in November, 2016, he informed that if anything happenned to Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) General Secretary Galagodaththe Gnanasara Thera, that would create a huge conflict in the country.
"If anything happen to Gnanasara Thero, it will be a threat to the national security. The SIS had alerted this to the then Defence Secretary and even at the National Security Council (NSC) meetings. Islamic extremists were circulating images that showed those wearing ISIS outfits beheading Gnanasara Thera in 2016," he said.
Witness further said that there was a large group of people gathered behind Gnanasara Thera in 2016 and the SIS had found if anything happened to Gnanasara Thera, those peole will create a massive chaos within the country.
Pointing out another letter sent to the Defence Secretary in December, 2016, the witness said that in the particular letter he had indicated facts with regard to entering Islamic State ideologies through cyber space.
"In an article written by Dr. Rohan Gunaratne, he had highlighted the threat of entering IS ideology through cyber space. Dr. Gunaratne also pointed out the government had failed to take adequate measures to control this situation," witness said.(Yoshitha Perera)