Expect more Easter Sunday type attacks: minister



Sri Lanka risks facing more Easter Sunday style attacks, state minister for defence disclosed in parliament during a two-day debate on the country’s worst single terror attack against civilians in April 2019.Pramitha Bandara Tennakoon warned the legislature not to undermine intelligence services as their services were required to prevent the next attack.

“Don’t think that the Easter Sunday attack was the last. In the future too there could be more attacks,” Tennakoon said reading off a prepared text defending the role of the military intelligence and criticizing the “professional misconduct” of the police.

He criticized the police for botching up evidence from a house at Saindamaradu where 15 people linked to the Easter Sunday bombers died in an exchange of fire with the police. Those inside the house exploded themselves when they were cornered.

Tennakoon said the police did not obtain DNA evidence from scene leading to a repeat of the tests that caused suspicion of a cover up.

He said he was reluctantly compelled to disclose that the much talked about “Sonic Sonic” is a police inspector working for the intelligence but had to leave the main spy agency after his cover was blown.

“Sonic Sonic is a code name. Sonic Sonic is an intelligence officer who infiltrated the (Islamic extremist) terrorist group. He pretended to be a terrorist. He talked, worked like them. That is how you win the confidence of the terrorists. Not by being a policeman. Understand that.

“We must have a mature parliament that understands it. Which idiot can go before terrorists as a policeman and expect information. I ask you to understand this.”

“How can I ask an intelligence officer in future to carry out a mission if they run the risk of ending up in jail.”

He also disclosed that the much discussed “Abu Hind” was also a code name of an intelligence operative, but someone working for a foreign spy agency.

Abu Hind

Evidence before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry had showed that a person identified as “Abu Hind” was in close contact with the lead Easter Sunday bomber Zaharan Hashim. The Catholic church has asked the authorities to investigate the role of Abu Hind to understand who was really behind the suicide bombers.

Minister Tennakoon also told parliament that the military intelligence was aware and possibly in contact with Jamil, the man who went to the Taj but did not explode his bomb there. The minister was responding to allegations that military intelligence (MI) had gone to Jamil’s even before he set off the bomb at Tropical Inn, Dehiwala.Opposition MPs said identification of Jameel’s MI handlers could shed more light into those behind the Zaharan and his fellow suicide bombers.