Two days after suicide bombers killed 321 people and injured over 500 others in coordinated attacks on churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka, ISIS has claimed the responsibility for bombings. The group’s AMAQ news agency put out the claim on April 23, but did not provide evidence.
The ISIS’s claim comes even as State Defence Minister of Sri Lanka, Ruwan Wijewardene, revealed in Parliament that the attacks were carried out by local Islamic extremists to avenge the shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on March 15.
Citing findings of preliminary investigation, Ruwan Wijewardene said a member belonging to National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ) had posted “extremist content” on social media after the Christchurch shootings. He also said that while all seven suicide bombers were Sri Lankan citizens the NTJ might have carried out the attacks with the help of foreign terrorist networks.
Ruwan Wijewardene termed the dastardly attacks as “global terrorism reaching Sri Lanka”. If the claim by ISIS is true, these attacks mark the first footprint of the terror network in South Asia, setting off alarm bells in India.
In the past, the impact of uprising by Tamil militant group, LTTE, in Sri Lanka was felt in India. It claimed the life of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi in suicide bombing.
In the recent years, a few radicalised Muslim youth had gone to Syria to fight for ISIS, though the terror outfit had failed to recruit a significant number of people in the country that has 250 million Muslims.