Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the terrorist blasts in Sri Lanka, as investigations into Sunday’s coordinated attacks that killed 321 people intensify.
The group’s Amaq News sent a tweet citing a ‘security source’ as saying the attacks were the work of ‘fighters of the Islamic State.’ The IS claim should be treated cautiously. The group usually claims an attack very soon afterwards, publishing pictures of those who carried it out on its media portal, Amaq.
Interpol has joined the investigation to help identify potential international connections, with attention also focused on a second extremist group known as Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen.
In a special session of the parliament today, Sri Lanka’s state minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene said investigators were probing links between the local jihadist group National Thowheed Jamath and Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen. He noted the Easter Sunday bombings could have been retaliation for the terrorist attacks on two New Zealand mosques last month.
The South Asian island nation has experience of such attacks – suicide bombers were used by Tamil Tiger rebels during the civil war. But the ruthlessness of the new atrocities has stunned the nation anew.