Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) Inspector T. R. K. R. Pathirana yesterday blamed the delay on the part of Attorney General’s Department to answer a query made to him by his institution with regards to National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) leader Zahran Hashim from arresting the individual that is now known to have been the main culprit responsible for the April 21 attacks.
IP Pathirana said this while testifying last evening before the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) probing the Easter Sunday attacks.
He said an inquiry was made by the TID from the Attorney General’s Department with regard to obtaining a warrant to arrest the NTJ leader. “We were monitoring Zahran's movements and we found out that he was engaged in promoting extremism, which is why we wanted action taken against him and as well as get the NTJ banned,” he said.
He said AG’s office informed him that the file handed over by him was not in order. “By the time we got the files in order the April 21 attack had already taken place,” he revealed.
He added that a request was made from facebook to get the NTJ FB page banned but the authorities who ran the social media network said they don’t understand what was said in the posts put out by the NTJ as they were written in Tamil. However, he said the FB account was blocked just ten days before the Easter Sunday attacks occurred.
It was further revealed that NTJ has not used Google to access its facebook account but had used other search engines with strict privacy policies. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)