All bombers were Lankans, members of a little-known extremist Islamic outfit, which has foreign links; ISIS fanatics hail attacks as revenge for New Zealand mosque shooting
Colombo: Sri Lankan authorities have blamed the multiple bomb attacks on a little-known Islamist group with links to international terrorists. All the seven suicide bombers were Sri Lankan citizens and members of this extremist Islamist outfit, identified as the National Thowheed Jamaath.
Not much is known about the NTJ, except that it was linked to the vandalising of Buddhist statues in the past; however, it possibly could not have carried out a terror strike on such a scale and it is feared that they may have had help from international terrorists such as ISIS. Surprisingly, no group has claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attacks but police have so far arrested 24 people, all members of the NTJ.
The SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks extremist activity online, said ISIS fanatics were praising the terror attacks as revenge for the New Zealand mosques shooting. Several Sri Lankan Muslims from ‘well-educated and elite’ families were known to have joined the terror group in Syria, according to Reuters.
The attacks follow just weeks after ISIS launched a global military initiative branded the ‘Revenge Invasion’ as payback for the loss of their territory in Syria. According to a report in New York Times, in recent years some Buddhist monks have turned militant and incited followers to attack Muslims, their places of worship and some of their businesses, such as slaughterhouses.
The Sri Lankan government’s security services appeared to have turned a blind eye, allowing Buddhist mobs to act with impunity. In 2014, scores were injured and three people were killed in Buddhist-Muslim clashes. In response, some Muslims joined radical Islamist groups that they believed would defend their faith.
Meanwhile, as the toll went up to 290, a state of emergency was declared in the island nation.A dusk-to-dawn curfew remained in effect. Schools were closed. So were many shops. Traffic on the main roads remained light, and tourists who visit this tropical island at this time of year were cancelling hotel bookings.
As many as 87 bomb detonators were found on Monday at the Central Colombo bus station. The police initially found 12 bomb detonators scattered on the ground. A further search revealed 75 more, a police statement said. A safe house where the bombers had lived for nearly three months was found in a Colombo suburb.
The Indian High Commission on Monday confirmed the deaths of two more individuals in the blasts – K G Hanumantharayappa and M Rangappa. Meanwhile, patrolling along India’s eastern Coast has been intensified by the coastal security agencies to foil any infiltration in wake of the serial suicide bomb blasts in Sri Lanka, a senior police officer said on Monday.
FAMILY KILLED IN AN INSTANT
A top British lawyer, whose entire family was massacred wandered around in a blood-soaked T-shirt desperately asking for his loved ones, reports Daily Mail. His wife Anita, 42, son Alex, 11, and young daughter Annabel have all died.
They were on a family holiday and Anita was having breakfast with her family at the Shangri La hotel when two suicide bombers walked in and blew themselves up, reports Daily Mail. The father said his family was killed ‘instantly’ as they sat at breakfast table together.
Billionaire lost 3 kids
Billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen has lost three of his four children in the terror attacks. A spokesman for Povlsen, Denmark’s richest man, confirmed the deaths but did not say which of his four children had been killed. The billionaire had been on holiday with his family for Easter holidays but he, his partner, and one of his children survived.
Just days before the devastating attacks, one of Povlsen’s children, Alma, shared a holiday snap of her siblings Astrid, Agnes and Alfred, next to a pool, reports Daily Mail.