A state intelligence arm has warned the Government over what it fears is the radicalisation of Muslim groups turning out to be supporters of the ISIS – the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The concerns are reflected in a top secret report sent to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The report comes in the wake of two foreign governments about what they believe is ISIS activity in Sri Lanka.
The Government has learnt that 45 Sri Lankans from nine families have entered Syria where heavy fighting is now raging. This is after arriving in Turkey and crossing the border. Some had even transited in Pakistan to cover their trail. Whilst some are engaged in combat roles, others are said to be deployed in logistical tasks.
In July this year, a 37-year-old Sri Lankan, fighting with the ISIS, died in a bombing raid in Syria. Abu Shuraih Sailani, a father of six, was a karate instructor in Galewala, 28 kilometres from Matale. He worked as the principal of a private school and had given karate lessons during off duty hours.
Contrary to the popular belief that ISIS supporters were among Muslim groups from the Eastern Province, the report has noted that the groups were from Kurunegala, Kandy and the Colombo suburbs of Kolonnawa and Dehiwala.
Sri Lanka Muslim organisations and leaders of the community have condemned the ISIS and accused its leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi of violating the tenets of Islam.