Testimonies provided by two representatives of national Thawheed organisations yesterday spoke volumes on the snail paced approach of intelligence agencies in acting on information shared on terrorist Zaharan and his activities. It is notable that this lackadaisical approach of intelligence agencies on information was after Sirisena took over the Defense portfolio.
Sri Lanka Thawheed Jamath President A K Hisham and Ceylon Thawheed Jamath General Secretary Abdul Razick both confirmed they individually shared information about Zaharan – his dangerous justification of the Jihad and his comings and goings – with the intelligence agencies that sought information on the terrorist who back then, was a controversial preacher.
Abdul Razick whose name has been brought up many times since the Easter Sunday attacks for his contentious preachings, testifying before the Parliamentary Select Committee probing Easter bombings said he offered information on Zaharan and his preachings to the Terrorist Investigation Division in 2016.
“In 2013 my organisation was investigated by the TID and I had to divulge all information including financial details during the inquiry that went on for three consecutive days. During this I was told by the intelligence officers to keep them informed of any changes or developments within our communities,” Razick explained.
He claims he was not paid for information sharing but used to provide intelligence officers updates, to which includes video evidence of a lecture by Zaharan where he justifies Jihad. “At that point, I very clearly expressed my concerns to the TID officer, pointing out what is conceptual today will be practically experimented tomorrow and to be wary of his activities.”
A K Hisham also says he informed Army intelligence officers of Zaharan’s visit to Ninthavur, Akkaraipattu even just a month prior to the bombings on April 21.
“We didn’t know of his intentions then…We knew he was absconding courts, so the moment I heard the news, I informed the intelligence officers…I even shared the contact number of Zaharan’s brother Zain, with the officers…” Hisham says noting he believes the information he shared with intelligence agencies, were however not put to good use.