Jan 17, Colombo: Following the recent attack in Jakarta by Islamic militants, Sri Lankan intelligence agencies are on high alert on the possibility of local groups having links with the extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), according to a report in Sunday Observer.
Sri Lanka's Ministry of Defense earlier this month assured that the security forces and all intelligence agencies were on full alert on the possibility of any groups having links with the ISIS making their appearance in the country.
When questioned about the presence of ISIS terrorists or links to sympathizer groups in Sri Lanka, Military Spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera has said that the situation is no way a cause for panic or alarm.
Brigadier Jayaweera however has declined to provide details saying that divulging vital and sensitive information could be counterproductive to the intelligence network established in the country and could jeopardize identifying the elements.
Defense Secretary Karunasena Hettiarachchi recently said that security officials have received information that 36 Sri Lankan citizens have entered Syria secretly and some of them have joined the ISIS.
Sri Lankans joining the ISIS came to light last year when a 37-year-old Muslim known as Abu Shuraih Saylani in the organization was killed in a United States-led coalition airstrike in an unspecified area of Syria on 12 July 2015 while fighting for the Islamic State.
According to an intelligence report by IHS Jane's 360 Sri Lanka is not immune to the danger posed by the radicalization and recruitment techniques of the Islamic State and has necessitated an enhanced response by the security forces.