By Yoshitha Perera
Former President Maithripala Sirisena was not informed about the foreign intelligence information with regard to possible terror attack by National Thowheed Jama’at (NTJ) leader Zahran Hashim and his associates, former State Intelligence Service (SIS) Director SDIG Nilantha Jayawardena yesterday informed the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) investigating the Easter Sunday attacks.
SDIG Jayawardena made this statement while responding to a question raised by a commissioner. He was also questioned about about the threat assessment report prepared by the SIS prior to President Sirisena’s visit to Batticaloa on April 12, 2019.
The threat assessment report did not refer to a foreign intelligence agency on April 4, 2019 which mentioned that a group including the National Thowheed Jama’at (NTJ) leader Zahran Hashim and his followers could launch a terror attack. In response, he said that it was not mentioned in the report, as it was not something relevant to former President’s visit.
SDIG Jayawardena added that the SIS regularly received information with regard to certain security threats to various VVIPs served in the previous ‘Yahapalana’ government, but most of them did not pay attention to those intelligence.