Sri Lanka in a state of emergency for serial bombings, 300 dead, 500 injured, 24 arrested

April 22, 2019 | Brainwave Science

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka in a state of emergency for serial bombings, 290 dead, 500 injured, 24 arrestedSITUATION

On Easter Sunday, churches and hotels were attacked with bombs in the country of Sri Lanka. The attacks resulted in killing nearly 300 people in a highly coordinated attack targeting Christians and foreigners. No group claimed responsibility for the attacks, which happen to be the deadliest incidents of violence here since the end of the civil war a decade ago. The government, however, has blamed a little-known local jihadist group, National Thowheed Jamath.

From midnight on Monday, Sri Lankan government has imposed a conditional state of emergency, while Tuesday would be observed as a national day of mourning.

On Monday, one day after the serial blasts, there has been another explosion in Colombo, the capital of the country. A van exploded near an unnamed Church. The reports added that the blast occurred when the bomb-defusing unit was trying to defuse an explosive in a van.

The development came minutes after the Sri Lankan police found 87 bomb detonators in Colombo’s Central bus stand, as per reports. Earlier in the day, Sri Lankan police had arrested 24 suspects in connection with the blasts.

The Sri Lankan Air Force has said it found an improvised explosives device along a road leading to the departure terminal at the Colombo international airport Sunday night.

“It was a crude six-foot pipe bomb that was found by the roadside,” an air force spokesman, adding “We have removed it and safely defused it at an air force location.”

Paris-based Interpol which facilitates worldwide police cooperation said it is ready to offer its full support to the Sri Lankan authorities in investigating the country’s deadliest terror attack

The bomb blasts on Sunday hit three churches- St Anthony’s Church in Colombo, St Sebastian’s Church in the western coastal town of Negombo and another church in the eastern town of Batticaloa, three hotels – the Shangri La, the Cinnamon Grand, and the Kingsbury and two other places –  Dematagoda and Dehiwala on Sunday killing over 200 people and injuring several hundred more.

Sri Lankan authorities were warned about a bomb threat from National Thowheed Jamath a full two weeks before the attacks. However, there is also speculation that the bombers had international support because it is unlikely that an attack of such magnitude could have been possible from local terrorists acting alone.

CHALLENGE

Sri Lanka is in a state of mourning and trauma. It is obvious that there is chaos and mistrust on the streets since an emergency has been declared. The police have been conducting raids to arrest suspects. Since no group has claimed responsibility, the authorities have a much wider range of criminal organizations to pursue. This increases the time and cost required enormously. It is likely that some or all the 24 arrested suspects possess intimate details about the crimes or have even been a part of the execution/planning. A detailed enquiry and investigation into this massive terror attack will take months and years, cooperation between international agencies, repeated reports, trials etc. Till then the suspects will go through the trauma of blame and interrogation. Moreover,  the interrogations might use primitive techniques like DNA, fingerprints and lie detector tests. The information gathered from them is sometimes inconclusive and takes weeks and months to process and analyse.

At the same time, the police will spend time going through the evidence at the sites of the attacks, and the evidence gathered from the sites of raids where suspects were arrested.

Even though the suspect possesses a mountain of information, the authorities have no credible way to extract it from them. Traditional methods are inefficient, costly and time-consuming, besides not being completely foolproof.

The suspects will lie during interrogation and only answer questions which they are asked. Most of these are closed-ended and do not end up revealing much. If the investigators have a sort of a precise test which could identify perpetrators and distinguish them from the innocents, then investigation of any scale would not be a problem to solve. Investigators are on the lookout for not only the terrorists but also a technology which can overhaul the entire forensics discipline in a one-stop solution.

WHY ICOGNATIVE?

Sri Lanka needs a way to capitalize on any and all the hard work which international agencies have done in interrogating other terrorist groups in the past. A company based in Massachusetts, called Brainwave Science has a technology to offer which can help restore peace in Sri Lanka. It can do so by bringing efficiency, effectiveness, and accuracy to investigative and interrogative police. Brainwave Science has developed and markets the iCognative tool.

It has revolutionary cloud-based architecture and database analysis techniques which can help in tracing links between suspects and criminal organizations. iCognative is the technology which can help forensic science come of age. In fact, never before has there been a technology so versatile and can be used by agencies which deal in national security, border control, immigration, counterterrorism, law enforcement, and human and drug trafficking.

It is used by agencies across the globe to screen suspects and gather intelligence in a cost-effective and reliable manner. Once a suspect is arrested and an investigation has been carried out in a case, then iCognative test can be administered to the suspect to detect if he or she is aware of crime-related information or not. iCognative is a computerized test and the results are declared as soon as the 45-minute test is over.

Since the test lasts only 45 minutes and is conclusive, it is scalable to tens and hundreds of suspects with only a linear increase in requirement of resources, in contrast to the exponential increase in the same using traditional methods. Using this cutting-edge technology, the investigators can quickly find out which suspect is likely to be the perpetrator and can thus focus their time and energy on the right person.

Moreover, iCognative is a technology which can help understand the position and rank of the arrested person in his or her criminal/terrorist organization. This information is priceless as it helps to decipher the hierarchy of that organization. Moreover, high-value individuals amongst the arrested can be discovered by using iCognative.

There are popular techniques like DNA, fingerprinting and polygraph (Lie-detector) tests. The drawback is that DNA and fingerprinting are time-consuming, and the samples/evidence is only uncovered in 1-2% of all cases. Moreover, polygraph tests are highly subjective, this means that if the same test subject is tested by two different polygraphists, then the results can be entirely different. At the same time, iCognative is centuries ahead as it is not only applicable in 85-90% of all cases, be it civil or criminal, but also that it is more than 99% accurate in its results. Incredibly, the results are reliable and there is an absence of any false-negatives or false-positives. This means that the law enforcement and counterterrorism agencies can be sure that if a person’s test-outcome says ‘information absent’ then he or she has highly likely to know nothing about the crime. Similarly, if the outcome says, ‘information present’, then they can confidently continue interrogating him or her and consider him a likely suspect. iCognative requires straightforward hardware for conducting the test. It includes a specialized headset which measures brain responses to crime-related images, words, or phrases (also called stimuli) and relays it to the computer where they are instantaneously analyzed. It is easy to deploy and even easier to learn to operate. It is highly customizable, both in terms of language and functionality. There is no need for the use of torture or coercion to conduct  iCognative test.

As an integral and important part of the investigations, all arrested suspects shall be tested using iCognative technology. The stimuli in such a test can be  pictures and details of the sites where the attacks took place, sites where each of the  suspects were arrested, insignia of the terror group National Thowheed Jamath, dates, times related with the attack, known extremist propaganda which could have been used to brainwash the attackers/planners, etc.

The Intelligence agencies based out of Sri Lanka and those working with the Interpol can benefit from iCognative independently, but also optimize and multiply their capability by collaborating on this immense threat, thereby countering nation-wide terrorism and/or threat of a civil war. They can progress by leaps and bounds in defeating extremism by incorporating Brainwave Science’s revolutionary technology.

Main Source: Republic World

Image Source: GulfNews