Foreign reports can’t be considered as intelligence

Foreign reports sent to the State Intelligence Service (SIS) on April 4, last year on possible terror attacks cannot be considered as intelligence reports, other that it being information, SIS ex-director, former SDIG Nilantha Jayawardena told the PCoI on the Easter Sunday attacks.

Responding to a question asked by a Commissioner, he said the SIS had never received intelligence reports from any foreign intelligence service.

“The particular foreign intelligence service was not aware about Zahran Hashim. They sent us information with regard to the imminent terror attack and as SIS we have to develop that information into an intelligence report,” Mr. Jayawardena said.

Appearing on behalf of former National Intelligence (CNI) chief Sisira Mendis, President’s Counsel Shanaka Ranasinghe cross-examined Mr. Jayawardena.

To a question as to why the SIS had not sought assistance from the armed forces by resorting to emergency laws to trace Zahran’s location, Mr. Jayawardena said the SIS had to develop the information received from a foreign intelligence agency before taking action. Mr. Ranasinghe PC asked the witness whether it was clear that Zahran and a suspect from the case on vandalizing Buddha statues in Mawanella, M.I. Shahid had escaped to Akkaraipattu before the attacks.

Mr. Jayawardena said after receiving the foreign reports, the SIS had deployed officers to trace the whereabouts of Zahran Hashim.

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