SIS gave priority to other matters than national security - Pujith

National Security was not considered as a key priority by the State Intelligence Service (SIS), since they had given priority to other affairs even before the October 26 regime change in 2018, former Inspector General of Police (IGP) Pujith Jayasundara claimed. He was testifying before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing the Easter Sunday attacks yesterday.

Jayasundara said the political situation that prevailed in the country had caused to make this situation within the SIS.

When the Commission questioned whether the SIS could grab any information on their own other than foreign intelligence information that the National Thowheed Jamaat leader Zaharan Hashim and his followers could launch such an attack, Jayasundara said all what they had were based on information obtained from foreign intelligence agencies and organizations. The SIS could not find any information of its own about this, he said.

He also added that if intelligence information had not been provided by a foreign agency, the bombings could have taken place even without the knowledge of the SIS and added that the SIS had never informed its position, conclusion and observation as well as the action to be taken in that regard.

Jayasundara said the SIS had not been able to verify the direct links between Zahran Hashim and the Islamic State (IS) until it received foreign intelligence.

However, when the Commission showed several documents exchanged between the Police Department, Intelligence units and the Terrorism Investigation Division (TID) in 2018 which comprised of details on a possible attack, the former IGP admitted that he had received early information about a possible terror attack and those letters had been forwarded to relevant officials for necessary action.

Meanwhile, the former IGP revealed that he had received a personal information about Zahran Hashim and his wife visiting a doctor for consultation on another baby in March 2019 and said he wondered as to why Zahran wanted to blast himself after about one month from this incident.

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