Police investigating the assassination attempt on Defence Secretary Colonel (retd) Gotabhaya Rajapakse had confirmed the assassin`s ethnic group with the help of a prostitute.
Police had interviewed her after their link had transpired during the investigation. Although she had not been aware of her customer`s deadly mission in Colombo, she had disputed his claim of being a Muslim, as he had not been circumcised, a senior Defence Ministry official said.
He had confirmed her doubt. He had claimed that he wanted to enjoy before leaving for overseas employment.
At the scene of the blast, authorities recovered a national identity card, which identified the killer as a Muslim.
Police had tracked down another prostitute known to the killer. Inquiries had revealed that he had taken both women to the same guest house in the Wattala police area. Another person is believed to have accompanied the suicide cadre to the guest house. The ministry official denied the possibility of the girls having any links with the LTTE.
The official described the assassin as a loner. `We believe he came from Jaffna and operated in several areas, including Trincomalee,` he said.
The killer had been in Colombo since 2001. Investigators are also probing the assassin`s alleged link with the elder brother of `Colonel` Swarnam, the Trincomalee district LTTE leader. Unidentified gunmen recently killed Swarnam`s brother, who managed a video parlour in the Trincomalee town.
The assassin had parked his trishaw at a Slave Island Mosque. The ministry official speculated on the possibility of the assassin leaving the trishaw on November 29 and 30 at the Mosque after fixing the claymore to the carrier, in this case the trishaw. Although the trustees of the Mosque had been aware of the security factor, the assassin had gained the confidence of the staff by posing off as a Muslim.
According to the Defence Secretary, the assassin drove the explosives-laden trishaw parallel to his car and triggered, what he termed as, a directional blast. `It had been genuine claymore,` he said, adding that it had not been set to explode on impact but detonated from a distance.