Russian Ambassador Yury B. Materiy apprised Public Security Minister Sarath Weerasekara about terrorist financing activities by extremist groups under the pretext of providing COVID-19 aid.
The Minister called on the Ambassador on December 24 and discussed bilateral cooperation and assistance in view of the containment of COVID-19.
According to reports, the Ambassador said many extremist groups were sending money for terrorist activities under the pretext of providing humanitarian assistance to various organisations and charities.
The Ambassador requested the minister to work closely with his counterpart in Russia to marginalise such groups. The Minister, in response to the Ambassador, said a strategy was worked out after the end of the civil war to increase the intelligence units from three to seven. He recalled that 160 ‘Madrasa scholars’ were deported after they were found spreading extremism.
However, he said the 2015/2019 government dismantled such intelligence operations enabling the extremist groups to regain their strength.
The Minister responding to the Ambassador about the progress made into Easter Sunday‘s attacks, said that 267 suspects had been remanded in connection with eight bomb explosions.
He said criminal investigations had been completed and the files had been handed over to the Attorney General for further action. (KELUM BANDARA)