- Alaina Teplitz, the US ambassador to Sri Lanka, said Wednesday that the “scale” of the Easter Sunday attacks suggest “there are foreign linkages.”
- The Islamic State terrorist group has taken responsibility for the series of bombings throughout the country which have caused 359 deaths so far.
- Sri Lankan officials have identified two domestic Islamist groups as being behind the attack and are still investigating what ties they may have had to foreign terrorist organisations.
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The US ambassador to Sri Lanka backed the idea that a foreign terrorist group may have been involved in the Easter Sunday bombings which have killed more than 350 in the South Asian island nation so far.
“If you look at the scale of the attacks, the level of coordination, the sophistication of them, it’s not implausible to think there are foreign linkages,” Ambassador Alaina Teplitz told reporters on Wednesday.
Sri Lanka’s junior defence minister, Ruwan Wijewardene, told parliament on Tuesday that two domestic Islamist groups were responsible for the attacks – National Thawheed Jama’ut and Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim.
14. The Amaq news agency of ISIS has now provided an image of what it says were the attackers in Sri Lanka standing before the ISIS flag: pic.twitter.com/rZjjBnEZ2k
— Rukmini Callimachi (@rcallimachi) April 23, 2019
However, the Islamic State terrorist group has also claimed responsibility for the attack, and even released a video on Tuesday showing eight figures wearing black robes, most of them covering their faces, claiming they were the bombers.
Wijewardene drew attention to the fact that there were nine bombers in the attack, while the ISIS video only showed eight people. However, Sri Lankan officials still believe the two groups received some sort of international assistance, whether or not that assistance came from ISIS.
“There was an international network without which these attacks could not have succeeded,” Rajitha Senaratne, the Sri Lankan health minister, said at a news conference on Monday.
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