Sri Lanka police trace 2018 mystery killings to Islamist suicide group

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has uncovered evidence showing that two policemen killed in November 2018 and other crimes, following the arrest of the driver of suicide bomber Mohamed Zahran, police said.

Using information provided by the driver Mohammed Shariff Adam Lebbe, alias Gaffoor Mama, police had recovered a revolver that had been seized from a policeman killed at a checkpoint in Vavunathivu roadblock in November 30, 2018.

The revolver had been recovered from a safe house in Ninthavur. Police had also arrested two more persons. Police had also recovered two laptops and documents.

After questioning them, police had recovered another revolver, a T-56 automatic rifle, locally made revolvers, and magazins and empty shells, from a plastic barrel buried in the jungle behind another safe house in Vanathavilluwa.

The revolver had belonged to the second murdered policeman.

The two policemen were killed in a mystery that baffled investigators.

The suspects had also revealed information about an attempted murder of a secretary of Highways Minister Kabir Hashim’s secretary Mohamed Razik Tasleem, in Mawanella, Gunasekera said.

One of the stolen revolvers had been used in the shooting.

Tasleem had been hit for working against persons who had vandalized Buddhist statues in the area.

Police have been arresting suspects and members of extremist Islamic groups, which are blamed for attacks on three churches and hotels on Easter Sunday.

National Thawheed Jammath (NTJ) and Jamathei Millathu Ibraheem (JMI), two extremist Islamist organizations, have now been banned under emergency laws.

Islamic State, an extremist group based in Syria, which is fighting for a Pan-Islamic agenda, has claimed responsibility.

Three churches and three hotels were hit by suicide bombers killing over 250 people.

Sri Lanka failed to prevent the attacks despite being warned by India that churches will be hit.

But police are making rapid progress in unraveling the terror network, partly helped by members of Sri Lanka’s Muslim community. (Colombo/Apr27/2019-SB)