Warning on 2019 Attacks received via WhatsApp on 20th April; Witness tells PCoI

Warning on 2019 Attacks received via WhatsApp on 20th April; Witness tells PCoI

Warning on 2019 Attacks received via WhatsApp on 20th April; Witness tells PCoI

Written by Zulfick Farzan

20 Aug, 2020 | 6:08 pm

Colombo (News 1st); Top intelligence and security officials were warned about an attack a day before it had taken place, the Presidential Commission of Inquiry probing last year’s April 21st attacks was informed on Thursday (20).

In a testimony at the presidential commission, former State Intelligence Service Director Nilantha Jayawardena said he had received intelligence warnings of an attack at around 4:15 pm on the 20th of April last year.

The warning had been sent through WhatsApp by a person whom he identified as a foreign counterpart.

The informant had warned that Zaharan Hashim of the National Thowheed Jamath group and his associates have planned an attack to be carried out on or before the 21st of April.

It read: “They have reportedly selected eight places including a church and a hotel where Indians inhabit in large numbers”.

The witness told the commission that he had informed the then defence secretary, Inspector General of Police, Chief of National Intelligence, and the Senior DIG of the Criminal Investigation Department about this warning.

He stressed that the warning was reliable and that he expected immediate action to be taken in that regard.

According to the witness, the intelligence warning had reaffirmed the findings of the SIS that the explosion of a motorcycle in Kattankudy on the 16th of April 2019 was a dry run conducted by the group involved in the bombings.

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