The mastermind behind the LTTE attack on the Anuradhapura Air Base where a number of aircraft were destroyed has been arrested from an IDP camp in Vavuniya, police said.
The suspect had told police that he and 24 LTTE suicide cadres had taken part in the attack on October 22, 2007.
A senior police officer quoted the suspect as saying that he and three others had remained outside the camp to direct operations while the others had moved into the camp in small groups by cutting the barbed wire around the perimeter of the base.
The suspect revealed that he informed the Vanni LTTE headquarters by satellite phone after the groups entered the camp and it was then that the LTTE aircraft were sent to drop bombs into the camp.
He said that on three occasions several LTTE cadres had come with him to the Anuradhapura Air Base to gather information but the residents had not suspected them since they were dressed in uniforms similar to those worn by the military and spoke in Sinhala.
The suspect said his group had stayed in the forest near Nuwara Wewa and had photographed the Base using sophisticated camera equipment and thereafter they had created a model camp in the Vanni using those photographs and carried out mock attacks during their training.
Police said 24 LTTE cadres including 21 Black Tigers had arrived at the Nuwara Wewa Forest ten days prior to the attack and after concealing their weapons had moved about speaking in Sinhala and clad in military-like uniforms to prevent any suspicion among the people in the area.
The arrested mastermind said they had to kill a man who had come into the forest and after having spoken to them in Sinhala became suspicious of them after seeing the cyanide capsules around their necks.
The mastermind identified as Thabo Ruben (26) who hails from Jaffna said 21 LTTE cadres who entered the Base to carry out the attack were killed while he and the three others who were outside had escaped.
Police said he had been promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel for successfully planning and carrying out the attack and LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakarana had gifted him with a valuable clock with Prabhakarana’s photograph and a heroes award.