The State Intelligence Service (SIS) was aware that Zahran Hashim had physical and mental capacity to conduct an attack in the country, even before it received the foreign intelligence on April 04, 2019 with regard to a possible terror attack, former State Intelligence Service (SIS) Director SDIG Nilantha Jayawardena yesterday testified before the PCoI probing Easter Sunday attacks.
Responding to a question raised by a commissioner, SDIG Jayawardena said that he was aware about Zahran's physical capacity to conduct an attack in the country after the Wanathawilluwa explosives raid in January 2019.
"After raiding explosives at Lacktowatta, Wanathawilluwa, the SIS has no records pertaining to other physical explosive stores maintained by Zahran in the country. We didn't conduct an inquiry with regard to finding more explosives but we were aware about Zahran's physical capacity to conduct an attack in the country," Jayawardena said.
SDIG Jayawardena said he had obtained a basic record check on Zahran after receiving the particular foreign intelligence on April 04, 2019 with regard to a possible terror attack.
"After getting a basic record check on April 5, 2019, I decided to inform about the particular foreign intelligence with regard to the attack, to Chief of National Intelligence (CNI) Sisira Mendis," Jayawardena said.
He said that the SIS had informed about the foreign intelligence to former IGP Pujith Jayasundara, former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando and former CNI Sisira Mendis for necessary action on April 07, 2019.
SDIG Jayawardena further added that in March, 2019 two intelligence services in Sri Lanka said that Zahran had escaped the country.
"SIS didn't even receive such information that Zahran had escaped the country in March, 2019. SIS officers were only aware that Zahran was in the country during that period," he said. (Yoshitha Perera)