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Easter Sunday attack Got to know about intelligence warning on social media - Army chief-

1 August 2019 12:10 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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  • Arresting of those suspects should have been done by the police. We directed our findings to them
  • We shared them. We discussed them. But I cannot say what they did with that information. 

 

By Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera 

Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake yesterday said he got to know of the intelligence warning of the Easter Sunday attack through social media.  He said that the army could have acted to avert the situation if they had been informed of that intelligence warning in time. 

“I am sad because we were not informed of the warning. There was no sharing of that intelligence message. If that was shared, we could have done something to avert that situation. We still do not know as to why it was not shared with us,” he said.   


Testifying before the Parliamentary Select Committee, he said the army had received information pertaining to the spreading of Islamic extremist network and that they had informed responsible authorities about the actions to be taken in that regard.   

 

  • We cannot assure that it is over. There are some progress and intelligence revamping. We are not in a position to say that we could see this problem over within six months or six years. But we have laid a strong foundation where all the security forces, including police are working in coordination


“We had received information pertaining to the spreading of Islamic extremist network. We processed and verified them. We reported them to the Ministry of Defence. We handed over the information to the CNI, Director SIS and IGP. We recommended some arrests be made, since we did not have powers to arrest anyone under the normal law. But then the arresting of those suspects should have been done by the police. We directed our findings to them,” he said.   


When asked when the threat of extremist terrorism could be eliminated, he said it could take time to address this issue and added that a definite time period cannot be given.   

 

  • I am sad because we were not informed of the warning. There was no sharing of that intelligence message. If that was shared, we could have done something to avert that situation


“We cannot assure that it is over. There are some progress and intelligence revamping. We are not in a position to say that we could see this problem over within six months or six years. But we have laid a strong foundation where all the security forces, including police are working in coordination,” he said.   


Responding to a question raised by MP Nalinda Jayatissa whether the army had brought up the issue of Islamic extremism at the National Security Council, Lt. Gen Senanayake said he had brought the matter at the NSC meeting.   


“We shared them. We discussed them. But I cannot say what they did with that information. We do not know how they processed them or why they did not arrest the persons we recommended. Most of the time we not only reported certain facts but also recommended arrests of certain terror suspects, but we have no information of the follow up actions by them,” he said.   


Responding to a question on the attending of opposition MPs at the NSC meeting, Lt. Gen. Senanayake said they had issues of divulging sensitive information on the national security.     

 

 

We had received information pertaining to the spreading of Islamic extremist network. We processed and verified them. We reported them to the Ministry of Defence

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