A team of US counter-terrorism experts is reported to have stressed at a meeting with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe the need for stricter border control and coast guard to ward off terrorism.
The team led by US Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz called on the Prime Minister on Tuesday evening and briefed him about measures that to be taken by them to counter terrorism after the 9/11 attack. They said terrorists would fear any attempt to infiltrate a country whenever there was rigid border control and coast guard.
The Prime Minister reportedly informed them that the government was planning to establish a counter-terrorism centre to coordinate intelligence operations and take action.
According to a source privy to talks, the US experts said that they had practical difficulties in trying the terrorist suspects, arrested after the 9/11 attack, in civil courts. They said terrorism was not a normal crime to be tried through the ordinary civilian court system, and therefore they had special arrangements to prosecute such suspects.
Also, they shared details about steps taken for upgrading the border control data systems in respect of identified terrorist suspects.
Besides, the US team had found out that National Thowheeth Jama'ath leader Mohamed Zahran had requested the Islamic State to recognize him as its agent for Sri Lanka. The source said the dismantling of the entire terror network maintained by Zahran was seen as an achievement by the US experts.
The IS has now lost territorial control. Therefore, the attack on Sri Lanka is seen as a morale booster for the Islamic terrorists scattered elsewhere in the world. (Kelum Bandara)