Close on the heels of the government crushing the world’s deadliest terrorist organization, the LTTE , its now flushing out Jihad militants operating in the East.
Intelligence sources reveal that there are an estimated 500 Jihadi militants in the East. They allege that Batticaloa itself houses about 250 of them.
Sources said that although earlier accusing fingers were pointed at the TMVP and LTTE cadres that they were carrying out the recent attacks in the East, it was in fact the Jihadi militants who were behind most of the crimes that took place recently.
In order to curb rising Muslim militancy in these areas, security officials called a special meeting last Friday with Moulavies, politicians and other Muslim dignitaries. The meeting was held at the Hisbullah Cultural Centre. Eastern Province DIG Edison Gunathilake, Security Forces Commander of the East, Major General Srinath Rajapaksa and STF Deputy Inspector General Ranawaka also participated in the meeting.
Sources said that some Muslim leaders in the past 15 years have supported the formation of this group and that they were given ‘ protection’. It is also reported that these militants have been given money and arms in order to carry out their ‘duties’. “Even today some Muslim politicians in Puttalam are supporting these militants so that they will have some clout in the Puttalam area”, a source said.
Meanwhile. security sources said that under intense interrogation seven hardcore Jihadi militants who were apprehended recently by the Kathankudi Police with seven T56, SMG weapons, communication sets, anti personal mines and with other types of military equipment have revealed valuable information. As a first measure, the Defence Ministry has given an amnesty to these militants “to hand over weapons and to surrender.’’ ” They can surrender till July 2, thereafter we will have no mercy on them”, a senior Defence Source told LAKBIMA NEWS.
He said that a few Muslim dignitaries who participated at the meeting admitted that some of their youth carried weapons and that they will persuade them to surrender before the July 2 deadline.
Intelligence sources also revealed that Jihadi militants were supplying weapons to underworld Muslims operating in Colombo.