Local group with international links behind Easter Day attacks – government spokesman, Rajitha Senaratne
Posted on April 22nd, 2019

Courtesy Adaderana

The Sri Lankan government has admitted it failed to act on multiple warnings before a coordinated series of attacks ripped through churches and hotels on Easter Sunday, and said it feared an international terror group might have been behind the atrocities.

A government spokesman, Rajitha Senaratne, revealed that warnings were received in the days before the attacks, which killed 290 people and injured at least 500 more, including from foreign intelligence services.

He said one of the warnings they received referred to Nations Thawahid Jaman (NTJ), a little-known local Islamist group which has previously defaced Buddhist statues. But Senaratne, who is also health minister, said he did not believe a local group could have acted alone. There must be a wider international network behind it,” he said.

A US official directly familiar with the US initial intelligence assessment said the group responsible for the attacks was likely to have been inspired by ISIS. No group has yet claimed responsibility.

The security situation remained fluid on Monday. Police found 87 detonators in a private terminal of the main bus station in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, and a controlled explosion was carried out on a van near St. Anthony’s church, one of three churches targeted in the attack. On Sunday evening, an improvised explosive device (IED) was defused near the capital’s Bandaranaike International Airport.

With the situation in flux, a dusk-til-dawn curfew was imposed for the second night in a row. Sri Lankan authorities declared a state of emergency from midnight Monday and said Tuesday would be a national day of mourning.

Intelligence failures would be investigated, Senaratne said. We saw the warnings and we saw the details given,” he told reporters at a press conference. We are very very sorry, as a government we have to say — we have to apologize to the families and the institutions about this incident.”
Police have arrested 24 people in connection with the suicide attacks, the worst violence the South Asian island has seen since its bloody civil war ended 10 years ago. A total of six suicide bombers were involved, Sri Lanka military spokesman Sumith Atapattu told CNN.

Most of the dead and injured were Sri Lankan. At least 39 tourists were killed and 28 injured, the country’s tourism minister said.

Of the foreign nationals who died, four were US citizens, eight were British, two of whom held dual US-UK nationality; as well as three Indians, two Australians, two Chinese cousins, one person from the Netherlands, two Turkish citizens and one Portuguese national. The blasts appear to have targeted tourism hotspots, as well as churches, in an effort to gain maximum global attention.

The attacks occurred in a period of political instability in Sri Lanka. In October, the Sri Lankan President attempted to depose the Prime Minister and replace him with a favored successor. That move backfired and the Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, was reinstated in December.

The President, Maithripala Sirisena, was out of the country at the time of Sunday’s attacks.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said warnings about a potential attack had not been shared with him or other government ministers. Sajith Premadasa, minister of housing construction and cultural affairs, said security officers were guilty of negligence and incompetence.”

It is unclear whether the details contained in the warning matched the atrocity that eventually took place on Sunday.

Little is known about the NTJ, the Islamist extremist organization that has been linked to the atrocities. There were doubts that it would have had the capacity to carry out such a sophisticated and coordinated attack alone. Transnational Islamists are known to operate in places like Pakistan, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Source: CNN
-Agencies

3 Responses to “Local group with international links behind Easter Day attacks – government spokesman, Rajitha Senaratne”

  1. Caesar Says:

    100 % true, UNP is playing balls of Muslims!

    MR also gave all concessions to MUSLIMS with his one foot in Palestine.

    All Political parties are on the MUSLIM side.

    F**k the Muslims, Kill the scum, we don’t need damn, shit MUSLIMS here!

    They should be killed.

    Hail Hitler.

  2. aloy Says:

    Use AI’s deep learning techniques to find out who the perpetrators are and their hideouts using service providers data. I am sure they save and keep the snapshots of locations of of all active sim cards at regular intervals. If you get the number of one guy all associates of him and locations they congregate frequently can be easily found in minutes.

    People like the billionaire Dhammika was bragging about these facilities they seem to have.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    I am very sad about this terrible loss of life in Sri Lanka.

    Even though this wanton crime is tragic, there is ONE THING to be happy about: it did not arise from a communal religious conflict that originated within Sri Lanka. It is VERY UNLIKELY to INCITE religious conflict among the communities in Sri Lanka because they are rallying around in support of the Christian community.

    Even now, it is well understood by most Sri Lankans that this was perpetrated by a small local Muslim jihadist group allied to the Islamic State which has now been completely ousted from their “Caliphate of Northern Iraq and Southern Syria”. The local terrorists have clearly received the organizational expertise, technology and the brain washing to field suicide bombers, from the Islamic State, and some of the suicide bombers may even be foreign.

    This terrorist strike may also be in RETALIATION for the recent massacre of Muslim worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand by a Christian terrorist.

    The global security community has been expecting such a strike … somewhere, some time and Sri Lanka, vulnerable and woefully unprepared under an incompetent government, was an easy target for the Islamic State to exact their revenge against their perceived “enemies”: the Christians and the citizens of Western powers who defeated them.

    However, one other thing is also abundantly clear: the PRESENT Government of Sri Lanka failed monumentally to protect the people, despite having received REPEATED WARNINGS of an impending strike.

    Already INEXPLICABLE aspects of their negligence have raised suspicions and allegations of their connection to this strike and possible motives; stay tuned to the local news channels regarding this.

    Caught in their own rhetoric of “human rights” and pandering to the demands of the defeated Tamil terrorists still striving to achieve the “Eelam” they could not win by war, over the last 3 years the present government undermined the intelligence and the security forces, dismantled armed forces institutions and police forces that had defeated and defended Sri Lanka against local and foreign inspired terrorism, and hunted down our heroes for alleged “war crimes” against the Tamil Terrorists, leaving the country wide open to the influx of terrorists both Muslim and Tamil, international drug dealers, and assorted criminals of every kind who had been defeated, imprisoned or chased out by the previous government.

    After 10 years of post-war peace without one single violent incident, we are now seeing ONE MORE EXAMPLE of the many adverse impacts of this unpatriotic, negligent and grossly incompetent government on the innocent ordinary people of Sri Lanka.

    In my view, this incompetent government should RESIGN IMMEDIATELY and hand over power NOW to those who have amply demonstrated in the past that they have the will and the experience to protect and defend ALL of its people.

    In my view, whether this government resigns now or not, they will without a doubt be VOTED OUT in the national elections to be held early next year.

    Also without a doubt, this incident will have a SEVERE ADVERSE IMPACT on Sri Lanka’s economy.

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