Sri Lanka Easter bombings in retaliation to New Zealand attacks: Minister
ECONOMYNEXT – The Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka were carried out by an Islamist organization in retaliation to attacks in New Zealand against mosques, State Minister for Defence Ruwan Wijewardene said.
"We have found information that this was in retaliation to the attacks New Zealand," Wijewardene said at a special media briefing in parliament..
"There are more investigations being made."
The New Zealand attacks were carried out by Christian white supremacists.
A leaked intelligence document made reference to a member of the Sri Lanka Islamist group making social media posts related to the New Zealand attacks.
Wijewardene said Sri Lanka’s National Thowfeeth Jama’at group, which was believed to have carried out the attacks, had close links with a group called JMI.
He did not elaborate but there is group called Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen India which is linked to a similar group in Bangladesh.
Warnings about impending attacks on Churches and the Indian High Commission came from a foreign intelligence agency, according to leaked documents.
Opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa slammed the administration for allowing the attacks to take place despite the warnings.
Sri Lanka has entered into an era of global terror networks with Easter bombings, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament.
"These terrorists, we have to consider as part of a global terror network," Wickremesinghe said. "This is different from other conflicts we have had."
He said the UK fought a conventional war in Falklands, then a civil war like in Sri Lanka in northern Ireland, but after everything was over global religious terrorism had started.
"Now they are driving cars into London," he said.
The Easter day bombings killed more than 300 people and injured over 500 including over 31 foreigners. (Colombo/Apr23/2019-SB)