On December 26 last year, scores of Buddhist statues in Mawanella were vandalized. A Criminal Investigation Department (CID)investigation led to the arrest of seven suspects, including one who was caught by the locals, allegedly while undertaking the act of vandalism. Suspects were accused of being members of a radical Islamic group. They were charged under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, produced before the Mawanella Magistrate and were remanded.
Interrogation of suspects led to an 80 acre-coconut cultivation in Wanathawillu in Puttalam, where CID sleuths uncovered a large cache of explosives buried in the plantation. The cache included 100kg of C4 explosives, 75 kg ammonium nitrate and potassium chloride and 6 cans of 20 litre nitrate acid, which investigators believed was meant to make Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Four individuals were arrested, however, the key suspects who were not in the plantation at the time, remained at large.
The arrests and seizure of explosives raised serious concerns within intelligence circles of an active network of Islamist cells. Concerns centred on a minority of Muslim fanatics who were indoctrinated by Salafi preachers and plotting attacks on followers of other faiths. At least two Muslim political bigwigs were blamed on maintaining contacts with these extremist groups, probably unaware of the evil they had been courting. One had offered to the Police to facilitate the surrender of an extremist preacher who was in hiding in return for an assurance.
In a shocking revelation, Minister Kabir Hashim has now told a media conference that one or two persons who were arrested at Wanathawillu were released due to political pressure. One of the released suspects was now being identified as Easter Sunday suicide bomber, he said.
Continue reading ‘Foreign Intelligence Service Informed Colombo that National Thawheed Jamath (NTJ) Leader Mohamed Cassim Mohamed Zahran alias Zahran and his Followers Were Planning Suicide Attacks in Sri Lanka’ »
The death toll after the series of suicide bomb explosions that took place in eight places including three churches and three leading hotels on Easter Sunday, reached 321 by yesterday. Over 500 people were also injured. As of noon yesterday, 211 were receiving treatment at five state hospitals and 85 percent of the bodies had been handed over to the families.
According to the National Hospital of Sri Lanka (NHSL) sources, the total number of admissions to the NHSL from Sunday morning (21) to Monday (23) morning, was 267, of which 111 are still receiving treatment at the hospital. A total of 25 are still in Intensive Care Units (ICU) and the total number of deaths at the hospital was 53.
According to the Negombo Hospital sources, a total of 91 patients were admitted to the hospital and 20 are still receiving medical treatment. There were 104 deaths reported at the hospital.
Continue reading ‘Easter Explosions Death Toll Rises to 321: Of More Than 500 Injured 211 Are Yet Hospitalised With 37 Getting ICU Treatment; 22 Foreigners Injured and 45 Dead But only 31 Identified: Bodies of 35 Locals and 14 Foreigners Still Unidentified.’ »