Former Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake testifying before the Parliament Select Committee (PSC) appointed to probe Easter Sunday attack said yesterday he had received 13 intelligence reports on the activities of ISIS locally and Internationally during his tenure and that activities of National Thawheed Jama'at (NTJ) was first informed to him on November 12, 2016.
The former minister, testifying before the committee, said there was a procedure where he received intelligence reports from the State Intelligence Services (SIS) regularly and that he had received 407 such reports on various matters.
He said he swiftly acted upon information if it was of national interest and discussed with the IGP then and there.
“There was a procedure where he received a report on daily updates on security matters. We even had a weekly progress review meeting to discuss security matters,” he said.
The former minister said he obtained two concept reports from the security forces on how to address the development of extremist elements and influence of ISIS in Sri Lanka.
“We established a separate unit in the TID to deal with extremism. We had not received any information on Zahran being engaged in terrorist activities, amassing weapons or explosives other than engaging in extremist activities,” he said.
Responding to a question he said they had sought the advice of the Attorney General to ban NTJ and had also obtained two arrest warrants against Zahran. (Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)