ISIS claims responsibility for Sri Lanka attack: The Islamic State or ISIS has claimed responsibility for the Sri Lanka bombings that killed 321 people on Easter Sunday. Reports said that ISIS via its propaganda Amaq news agency claimed responsibility. The suspected suicide bombers carrying bomb-laden backpacks can be seen on CCTV footage. However, the Sri Lanka government has not revealed their identity yet.
The ISIS claim came after its sympathisers circulated photographs of suicide bombers who killed 321 people. The photographs show three men armed with guns posing for pictures. Their names were captioned Abul Muktar, Abu Ubaida and Abul Barra. However, the Sri Lanka Police have not verified these photos.
— Michael Krona (@GlobalMedia_) April 23, 2019
Earlier, the ISIS circulated images of Moulvi Zahran Hashim of the National Thowheed Jamaat. In the video, Moulvi Hashim was seen pledging allegiance to the so-called Islamic State. However, Newsx.com cannot ascertain its veracity.
On Sunday, Wijewardene had blamed two different local Islamist groups for the coordinated suicide bombings while a cabinet spokesman claimed that an ‘international network’ was behind the terrorist attack. Apart from National Thowheed Jamaat, Wijewardene also named another local group, Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen India (JMI). Reports said JMI was established in 2018 and is affiliated to a similarly named group in Bangladesh.
#WATCH Colombo: CCTV footage of suspected suicide bomber (carrying a backpack) walking into St Sebastian church on Easter Sunday. #SriLankaBombings (Video courtesy- Siyatha TV) pic.twitter.com/YAe089D72h
— ANI (@ANI) April 23, 2019
Colombo Police have arrested 13 people in connection with the wave of bombing in churches and hotels. According to reports, six of the arrested people are associated with the radical Islamic group National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ). The security agencies arrested them from a hideout in the island nation’s capital.
Sri Lankan intelligence agencies were warned about the possible terrorist attacks on April 04, reports said.
Since 2017, Sri Lanka witnessed a rise in jihadi activities. It may also be recalled that a postgraduate student from Sri Lanka, Mohammad Nizamdeen, was charged with ISIS-affiliated terror-related offence in Australia.
Nizamdeen is the nephew of MP Faiszer Mustapha and was accused of being part of a plot to assassinate an Australian politician. Faiszer Mustapha was a cabinet minister in the Sri Lankan government.
Reports said that the Sri Lankan Parliament was informed about the expansion of the international terrorist organisation ISIS in the island nation after 32 Muslims members from elite families joined it. And the jihadi activists got a boost after scores of Sri Lankan ISIS terrorists had returned from Syria in 2016, they added.