Leaked Diplomatic Cable Suggests Saudi Foreknowledge of Sri Lanka Easter Bombings
Posted on June 7th, 2019

by Whitney Webb  Courtesy  mintpressnews.com

New evidence suggests that the government of Saudi Arabia not only had foreknowledge of the brutal bombings (and did nothing to stop them) but may have played a more active and direct role in the bloodshed

COLOMBO, SRI LANKA — A leaked Saudi diplomatic memo obtained by Lebanese outlet Alahed News claims that the government of Saudi Arabia had foreknowledge of the Easter bombings that occurred last month in three cities on the island nationof Sri Lanka, killing nearly 300 and wounding over 500 more. The contents of the memo, which additionally suggests Saudi complicity in the attacks, are supported by the connections recently uncoveredby Sri Lankan authorities, that the alleged ringleader of the bombings, Zahran Hashim, had to Saudi Arabia.

The document carries the Islamic calendar (Hijri) date of 11/8/1440, which equates to April 17, 2019 in the Gregorian calendar — just a few days before the bombings — and is addressed to the Saudi ambassador to Sri Lanka, Abdul Nasser bin Hussein al-Harethi, and authored by Saudi Foreign Minister Ibrahim bin Abdul Aziz al-Assaf. It carries the labels urgent” and top secret.”

Sri Lanka | Saudi Arabia leaked diplomatic memo

The brief memo states the following (translated from Arabic):

His Excellency Ambassador Abdul Nasser bin Hussein al-Harethi

You should carry out the following measures immediately:

First: You should delete all documents, computer data and latest correspondence with domestic and foreign members and groups, in addition to imposing a curfew for the embassy personnel unless [travel] is necessary;

Second: You should inform all those related to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia — including counselors, security forces and intelligence during the three coming days, especially on the Christian Easter Day — to avoid presence in public and crowded places, namely churches;

Third: You should send written news about the Sri Lankan authorities and their viewpoints regularly to this ministry

Ibrahim bin Abdul Aziz al-Assaf

Foreign Minister

The memo, seen here, carries the seal of Saudi Arabia, conforms with the format of other leaked Saudi diplomatic memos, and carries two watermarks. MintPress was unable to obtain a copy for independent confirmation of its authenticity.

The memo dovetails with other new evidence

The contents of the memo from the Saudi foreign minister to the Saudi ambassador to Sri Lanka, particularly its indication of prior knowledge of danger in crowded places and churches on Easter Sunday, have taken on a new significance following the arrest last Friday of Mohamed Aliyar, a 60-year-old, Saudi-educated Wahhabi scholar who operated the Center for Islamic Guidance in Zahran Hashim’s hometown of Kattankudy. According to a plaque outside of the Wahhabi religious center operated by Aliyar, the center is funded by unnamed Saudi and Kuwaiti donors.

A statement released by Sri Lankan police stated that Information has been revealed that the suspect arrested [Mohamed Aliyar] had a close relationship with … Zahran and had been operating financial transactions” on his behalf and was also involved” in the training of the suicide bombers responsible for the massacres on Easter Sunday.

A group of board members of the center, who spoke to the South China Morning Post prior to Aliyar’s arrest, stated that the center was funded by local donations, student fees, and private donors who were classmates of Aliyar’s in Riyadh;” denounced Zahran Hashim as a troublemaker;” and could not recall having seen him at the center recently. However, the police statement that followed Aliyar’s arrest suggested that his relationship with Zahran Hashim was not a part of his public persona.

Of key interest in the police statement is the mention of Aliyar’s operating of financial transactions” on Zahran Hashim’s behalf in the lead-up to the attacks. Several reports, such as this one from the BBC, noted that the attacks required detailed planning, safe houses, an extensive network of planners and handlers, expertise on bomb-making, and significant funding.” Aliyar’s connections to wealthy Saudi donors and to Zahran suggest that he may have been a liaison for much of that funding.

In addition, the leaked memo’s instruction for the Saudi ambassador to delete all documents, computer data and latest correspondence with domestic and foreign members and groups,” suggests that the Saudi Embassy in Sri Lanka may have been aware or party to these or other transactions related to the Zahran-led attacks.

While it is possible that funding had come from elsewhere, the fact that Zahran’s sister, Mohammad Hashim Madaniya, had been sent 2 million Sri Lankan rupees (around $12,000) from Zahran just days before the blast suggests that the amount of money involved in funding this operation was significant indeed and likely of foreign origin.

Extent of Saudi role

The fact that the Islamic State quickly claimed responsibility for the bombings — and that Zahran pledged loyalty to the group just hours before the attack — further suggests a Saudi role, since the Saudi government was revealed to be funding and logistically aiding the terror group in 2014. Leaked emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revealed that the U.S. government has long known that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states are among the main financiers of the international terror group.

The leaked memo contained in the email to Clinton states:

We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIS and other radical groups in the region.”

While mainstream reports have long asserted that it was private Saudi donors funding the terror group, this email revealed that U.S. intelligence had determined that the Saudi government was funding the group and also providing them it logistical assistance.

The Islamic State’s widely acknowledged role in the attacks and its known relationship to the Saudis — in combination with the recent arrest and role of Mohamed Aliyar in the attacks and the contents of the memo from the Saudi Foreign Minister — strongly suggest that the government of Saudi Arabia not only had foreknowledge of the brutal bombings (and did nothing to stop them) but may have also played a more active role in the bloodshed.

Feature photo | A screenshot from an ISIS video shows Zahran Hashim, alleged ringleader of the Sri Lanka Easter Bombings.

Whitney Webb is a MintPress News journalist based in Chile. She has contributed to several independent media outlets including Global Research, EcoWatch, the Ron Paul Institute and 21st Century Wire, among others. She has made several radio and television appearances and is the 2019 winner of the Serena Shim Award for Uncompromised Integrity in Journalism.

2 Responses to “Leaked Diplomatic Cable Suggests Saudi Foreknowledge of Sri Lanka Easter Bombings”

  1. Christie Says:

    India has informed Saudi about the upcoming blasts.

    India and Saudi are very close friends.

    They have managed to change the regime of Maldives.

    Modi is going to Maldives before coming here.

    Jai Hind.

  2. Nimal Says:

    It is obvious that the gulf states are poisoning the Muslims in every nation perhaps foolishly in cohort with others who wants to destabilizing all the nations. When Saudis are executing children and their bed partners the Israelis are harassing the Palestinians in their own land of birth how credible are they? Our fools must realize them and move away from their culture and be part of the wide community.
    Sri Lanka is an island with plenty of resources where we can get on without help from some countries and the gulf sates might boycott us in future and be prepared to trade or by oil and gas elsewhere. We should rightfully be hard on the Islamic extremists that is radicalizing our Muslim citizens who are forced to segregate themselves from the rest of the population and some of them threaten us with their majority in the world population which will not hold water.
    I grew up with Muslims in Kandy,Kurunagala and in 1953 we noticed the ladies who had connection with the Merakam Mosque in Kandy who had some connection with that Mosque was so modern, beyond belief and Elizabeth Taylor who was filming Elephant Walk down the road looks a domestic.
    Where did the Muslims go wrong? Squarely the fault with the Gulf States who got them to their country and to please their hypocritical leaders people were used to poison the minds of our Muslim citizens who lived amicably with all of us.
    I grew up with my very modern Muslim neighbors and when that family was invited to my son’s wedding reception in Kandy where their dress was very restricted and refuse to have anything to eat and her young son who lived in the Gulf States was calling the shots in that family now they have lost our friendship going back for decades.
    Same thing happened yesterday where I paid out a large sum to a person from the Lebanese back ground for a contract he did in my business and he withheld the payments to his workers who worked hard to complete the work in my business place as lost time is bad for my business. He instead spent his time with is male friends in France on a day trip enjoying themselves, leaving their women at home. I was furious that his worker who was desperate for his wage was milling around my business waiting for that rascal to come and when he arrived I could smell his breath, seems to have had a jolly good time. Known him for years and come to accept the fact that he will not dink a glass of water from our place. But he is very hypocritical when in every sentence he utter ‘God willing’. All their leaders in the Gulf play double games and have more than one face truly contradict their great prophet’s teaching where he stress that strangers and non believers should be welcomed. In 2005 I met a Middle East gent having a beer at the pub in Kandy and few days later he was in Batticloa giving support to the radical minded folks and when we drove through Kathankuddy we felt unwelcomed, that was the time when there was a massacre in one of the mosque by the tiger terrorists, feeling sorry I forced my self to the mosque and donated some money which expressed our sincere grief.After passing this town we visited one time Portuguese colony where their entire houses were demolished by the tsunami and I was glad the government and the well wishes have moved them into the safer interior and manage to give gifts shipped from UK to them.After that we were going south along the beach, saw two or three dead bodies visible from soil erosion in the sea side cemetery. We passed a Hindu temple and showed our respects with donation and asked if I gave some money if they could bury those bodies and two worshipers undertook the task.Then we passed a Tamil tiger camp with their flag on a pole and then passed a thick jungle where there were army troopers were on duty and late in the night we reached Kataragama to watch the perahara.It was such a beautiful occasion where all communities were selling goods in the carnival across the river. Those two days were truly gruesome for our country that I will never forget.
    There were many Tamils came down south on pilgrimage to Katharagama and lots of them were seated in front of us from morning and when the perhara was approaching, suddenly the Tamil spectators vanished one by one leaving our area leaving us alone with two or three young Tamil. Bare footed cop commented that there is a suicide bomber close by and I urged my family to go across the small bridge and wait for me in the carninval while I was videoing the surrounding area for future evidence but nothing happened because the bombers were ill informed about the disunity of the communities which they may have found false call and gave up the mission and the authorities found the abandoned vests a year or two later.
    As I mention it was two bad days for the country.We went to a Yala park nearby by Jeeps and found one area used by the tigers as we found their boot or shoe marks going into the jungles from the boats that was on the beach and when I wanted to follow the tracks I was promptly discouraged by the hired jeep fellows.
    That night was gruesome to all of us as our lifelong friend Kathragama and a relative by marriage a DIG from Kurunagala was gruesomely killed in a tiger base where he went to make peace.
    We hurried back to Kandy and when we tried buy white cloth for the flags, none of the traders in Kandy town were willing to sell the cloth.
    My brave Burgher friends got two bamboo poles to erect two white bed sheets but the SSP on perahara duty forced us to remove it saying that it was a poya day,this is why I hate religion of this kind which is manipulated by the politicians and others in authority. They are not Buddhists but we defied them by putting two pillow cases.
    There were two our equally serious incidents that happened during another time in another year during perahara where we called on CBK and DIG Madiwaka.Too busy leave that for another occasion.

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