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Terrorism

Terror threat not completely over – PM

The man suspected to be deputy head of terror group caught by CID

By Imesh Ranasinghe

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe file photo/ pmoffice.gov.lk

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe says that even though the Easter Sunday attackers and their associates are all either dead or behind bars, the threat to the country from global terror is not completely over.

He told Parliament today (7)  that the country is facing “a global terrorist group and the international community should join hands in order to defeat this terrorism.”

He revealed that the person believed to be the second-in-command of the National Thowfeek Jamaat who was at large has also been caught.

Wickremesinghe announced that the government is bringing forward the passing of the Counter-Terrorism Act (CTA) to strengthen the law in order to prevent such acts in the future.

Shangrila Hotel after the blast killed dozens/Pathum Dhananjaya/ RepublicNext
Acting IGP’s report presented to Parliament

He also presented a report submitted by acting Inspector General of Police C.D. Wickramaratne.

In that, the Police say that in the last 24 hours no complaints were received regarding any disturbance in schools islandwide as the security forces are ensuring the protection of schools and students.

He also said that although the special religious programmes were not held the daily religious activities are being held in religious various places and that the security forces will have roadblocks and search operations will be conducted till the security is completely ensured.

The prime minister said that police knew that 4 Sri Lankans had first gone to Syria through Turkey in 2014 to join the Islamic State militant outfit.

This was consequent to the invitation extended by the IS leader for Muslims from all around the world join them.

Some Sri Lankans later had gone to Syria to receive weapons training under IS.

Mohamed Ibrahim Sadiq Abdul Haq who was apprehended in Nawalapitiya is one of them, the Prime Minister said.

He added that the suicide bomber who exploded himself in a guest house in Dehiwala, Abdul Latheef Jamil Mohamed, had also gone to Turkey with the intent of joining IS but returned as he could not get into the militant-held territory.

Wickremesinghe also presented the report from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and said that the CID has deployed 8 teams.

One of these teams was able to nab Mohamed Ibrahim Mohamed Naufur who believed to be the successor to of Zahran Hashim the NJT leader.

Hashim blew himself up at the Shangrila hotel in Colombo during that fateful Easter Sunday.

Mohamed Rahim Mohamed Sadiq, Mohamed Ibrahim Nijaz Ahmed and 52 other members of the organization were also apprehended by the CID.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe also said that the steps have been taken to give compensation to the victims of the attack and damaged churches are being built with the help of the armed forces.