Sri Lanka probing Islamic State links to Easter bombers with foreign help
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is probing possible links Easter Sunday bombers may have had with Islamic State radical group with the help of foreign intelligence agencies, State Minister for Defence Ruwan Wijewardene said.
Investigators were trying to find out whether Islamic State, which had claimed responsibility, gave motivation, training or financial support for the group, he told reporters.
Foreign countries are helping check possible links including financial support, he said.
America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation had a team in Colombo.
Sri Lanka was working closely with India, he said. CNN, a US-based television network said India had found the information from an IS member in their custody.
Other countries including Australia and UK were also helping Wijewardene said.
Sri Lanka was in touch with neighboring countries on the travel and movements of the bombers in to those countries, he said.
India has tipped off Sri Lanka originally about the impending attacks but the island’s officials failed to make use of the intelligence gathered.
The information had come shortly before a traditional New Year holidays.
On Easter Sunday, bombers struck three churches and three hotels, killing over 350 people so far. A Sri Lanka based group called National Thowheeth Jama’ath and a splinter group has been blamed for the attacks. (Colombo/Apr23/2019-SB)