Written by Hassaan Shazuli
21 Sep, 2020 | 3:42 pm
Colombo (News 1st); Former Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando said the Former State Intelligence Service Director should have emphasized on the serious nature of the warnings received before the 2019 April 21st attacks.
He made these remarks in his testimony at the presidential commission probing the bombings on Monday (21).
Former defence secretary Hemasiri Fernando told the presidential commission the foreign intelligence warnings of an attack were not specific and did not indicate a threat to national security.
He told investigators the State Intelligence Service Director is at fault for merely passing on the warnings instead of submitting accurate observations and recommendations that highlighted their importance.
The witness insisted the SIS director must have stressed the importance of the information in order to take the appropriate action.
He told the commission that local intelligence units had also not provided definite information indicating a threat to national security during his term in office.
The witness claimed he did not observe a connection between the vandalization of Buddha statues in Mawanella, the recovery of explosives in Wanathavilluwa, and the bicycle explosion in Kattankudy that occurred in the run-up to the bombings.
However, he admitted these incidents indicated that bombs could be manufactured in the country and that there was a danger in the country.
Meanwhile, the former defence secretary said the National Security Council had not taken any decision regarding Zaharan Hashim who was later identified as the mastermind of the terrorist attacks.
He said that the former SIS director had been reluctant to discuss the foreign intelligence warnings at the National Security Council meeting as well.
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