State Intelligence Service (SIS) had only identified active members of the National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ) at the time it received the foreign intelligence report on the terror attack on April 4, 2019.
Ex-SIS director, SDIG Nilantha Jayawardena said this in response to a question asked by Shanaka Ranasinghe PC appearing on behalf of former National Intelligence (CNI) chief Sisira Mendis.
Referring to earlier reports sent by the SIS on NTJ members, Mr. Jayawardena said in 2017 and 2019 the SIS had sent two reports to the former IGP and the CID including names of NTJ members.
"The SIS sent a report with names of 94 NTJ members to the IGP and in 2017 sent another report to the CID with 129 names. These persons were the key members of the NTJ network," he said.
However, Mr. Ranasinghe PC said he was not referring to the earlier reports sent by the SIS and only wanted to know whether the SIS had a clear idea of how many associates Zahran had by the time the foreign reports were received.
Responding to the question Mr. Jayawardena said the SIS was an intelligence agency and not a astrological service which knew the names of everyone having extremist ideas.
"Extremism is a psychological mania and no intelligence agency had ever been able identify all persons attached to these extremist groups," SDIG Jayawardena said. (Yoshitha Perera)