Intelligence agencies in the country have identified eight Government ministers who are under threat, issuing instructions to restrict movements and beef up security for the individuals as the authorities crack down on the Easter Sunday attackers.
Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne claimed that intelligence services have asked eight ministers in the Government to restrict their movements during the week due to possible suicide attacks.
“My MSD told me that I have been identified as one of them and I was told to stay at home especially yesterday,” he said.
Along with Senaratne, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera has also been identified by the intelligence as facing serious threats, he said.
Further, he notes that intelligence reports have noted that the first threat is to Catholic and Christian priests, as the militants are trying to avenge the Christchurch attack.
Senaratne also said that out of over 150 suspects in custody, 33 have either admitted or been identified as members of the armed wing of the National Thowheed Jama’ath (NTJ), referred by him as “attackers.”
The Minister also claimed that one of the terror organisations identified as responsible for Easter Sunday attacks NTJ along with number of other groups such as Bodu Bala Sena were initially funded by a “secret account of the Defence Ministry” during the previous government, under the Defence Ministry secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
He also made claims that 26 members of the National Thawheed Jama’ath were on the Defence Ministry pay roll. Senaratne also claimed that Abdul Razik, identified as the secretary of National Thowheed Jama’ath who was on the pay roll of the intelligence services, is suspected to have masterminded the murder of two police officers in Batticaloa a few months ago. Weapons belonging to the two police officers were later found in possession of members of the terror group who have been arrested by the authorities.