Sri Lankan intelligence were told of terror plan on April 4 (and did nothing.)
Zahran’s name was on one intelligence warning shared among Sri Lankan security forces, who apparently even quietly took their growing concerns to international experts as well.
Anne Speckhard, the director of the International Center for the Study of Violent Extremism, said a Sri Lankan intelligence official approached her at a conference in February with a surprising question.
She was worried about what she described as a violent, homegrown jihadi group that ‘would just disappear’ when the government tried to crackdown on them.
‘The intel person kind of came up to me and said, “You know, we’re kind of worried about this new group and there’s some activity going. What do you think?” Speckhard told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
‘It just kind of blows my mind that’s who it was.’
As far as the planning, Speckhard noted that Sri Lanka was ‘a part of the world that developed suicide vests’ during the civil war against the Tamil Tigers, a secular, nationalist group that once was the world’s top suicide attacker.