Former Intelligence Chief said there was no IS threat five days before attack - Former INSSSL DG

Chief of the State Intelligence Nilantha Jayawardena said there was no Islamic extremism in the country and there was no threat of regional ISIS five days before the April 21 Easter Sunday attack", former Director General of the Institute of National Security Studies Sri Lanka (INSSSL) Asanga Abeygoonasekara told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the Easter Attacks.

Abeygoonasekara further pointed out that the discussion took place five days before the Easter Sunday attack with a Pakistan Delegation on April 16. He also stated that in 2017, he had submitted three reports to the Chief of National Intelligence stating that Islamic extremism was a regional threat.

"Following the attack, former President Maithripala Sirisena summoned me on May 20. Then I told the President the story told by the Chief of State Intelligence. He said that he did not say so '', Abeygoonasekara added. Abeygoonasekara also said the reports he had sent to the former president stating that there was a regional threat had not been received and that he had submitted the proposal report to the former president after the attack.

"On March 20,2017, the Chief of National Intelligence Sisira Mendis informed me to study and submit a report on the incident that took place at Aliyar junction in 2017.

After receiving that letter, I sent the first letter on March 27, 2017 stating that there was a regional threat in the country with three reports,", he further added.

Mendis had told the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed to look into the Easter attack that he had called for reports but I had not submitted the reports.

I had submitted a report to the Ministry of Defence addressing the former President on March 30,2017.

When I was informed by the Chief of National Intelligence, I searched after the Aliyar Junction incident and sought intelligence information from foreign countries where the IS attacks had taken place.

I had discussions with the Chief of State Intelligence, the Chief of National Intelligence, the Chief of Army Intelligence, senior officers of the Police, the Secretary of Defence and others.

We looked into a number of incidents, including the discovery of the Wanathawilluwa explosive devices and sermons preached by Zaharan via social media to create jihad.

Monthly security threat reports indicated that there is a regional threat, as well as Islamic extremism.

"I also informed the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) that Zahran Hashim was inciting his followers to form a jihad on social media and asked them to block it," he said,

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