Colombo, Jun 7(BAN/CD): Before getting fully involved in extremism in 2016, Former TID DIG Nalaka Silva found that Mohammad Zahran, leader of National Thawaheed Jama’ad had been engaged in extremism in 2013.
Silva said that TID was engaged in anti-extremism activities since 2013 and were monitoring Zaharan since 2013. A special unit had been set up within the TID to monitor extremism, he said. DIG Silva further added that details of the unit could not be revealed in front of the media.
His team had found out that Zaharan had maintained two Facebook accounts and two websites. He shared information about the ISIS and had various postings put out by the ISIS, according to DIG Silva.
Computer Emergency Readiness Team(CERT) and TRC were asked to block the websites created by Zaharan but Silva could not confirm whether any action was taken in this regard.
He also revealed that Zaharan had links with several politicians whose identities he could not divulge in front of the media.
“I obtained an open warrant in July 2018 and also went on to get the Interpol to issue a blue notice on Zahran after I found out that he had left the country. We concluded that he had left the country as we could not find him anywhere in Sri Lanka. When a blue notice is issued by the Interpol they can look for him and then it is possible to issue a red notice when the country he is hiding is uncovered. However, it was not possible to get that far as I was arrested on October 25, 2018,” Silva explained.
Silva also mentioned how he was unsure whether the investigations continued after his arrest and that his absence created a gap in the probe.
He said that weekly reports of the activities were submitted to the TID Director, whose duty it was to have briefed the Security Council.
The DIG revealed more information in the absence of the media due to confidentiality, among which were details on the order given to TID to halt an inquiry it was conducting on a certain person who had links with Al Qaeda.