Gov'ts must act urgently on threat intelligence

Gov'ts must act urgently on threat intelligence

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

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Dear Editor,

The Easter Sunday tragedy in Sri Lanka occurred as a result of failure to take timely action, or the negligence to act of the Sri Lanka minister in charge of defence and the top security council in the country.

Sri Lanka intelligence (police) received news of the planned attack on churches and other places one month before, and the senior superintendent of police in charge of internal security communicated this message immediately to the security council and warned that National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ) connected to ISIS was planning such events, but authorities ignored tracing the group for unknown reasons.

Interestingly, two weeks before the attack, intelligence officials from India and the United States warned Sri Lankan officials about a potential plot against churches and tourist sites in the country. Unfortunately, the security council once again took those warnings in a very light manner which resulted in a loss of 300 innocent civilian lives.

The lesson for Jamaica from this suicide bomb attack is to take immediate action once the authorities receive secret intelligence reports and monitor any suspect group planning these activities and arrest the key members. If Sri Lankan authorities had taken action once they had received the intelligence report this terrorist attack could have been prevented. I was one of the eyewitnesses when this attack took place in my country.

Dr Prathiba Mahanamahewa

Dean, Law

University of Technology, Jamaica

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