Yesterday, a series of almost simultaneous 8 blasts rocked the Sri Lankan capital f Colombo and other places. The death toll so far has been placed at an overwhelming 290 and over 500 people are reportedly injured in one of the worst attacks in the decade.
Sri Lanka’s PM Ranil Wickremesinghe has reportedly admitted that they had been warned about possible attacks by an Islamist terrorist group. PM Wickremesinghe stated that despite the warning by intelligence agencies, Sri Lanka ‘failed’ to take adequate measures.
As per a report on News18, top intelligence sources have informed that Zahran Hasheem of the radical Islamist group National Thowheed Jama’ath (NTJ) had planned to carry out an Istishhad (suicide attack) in Sri Lanka. They had also conducted a dry-run and had placed explosive-laden motorcycle at Palmunai near Kattanakudi on April 16.
the report states that India had shared the intelligence input that the NTJ might carry out attacks in Churches and a hotel frequented by Indian nationals. The information was reportedly shared on April 4.
Yesterday, it was also reported that Sri Lanka’s police chief Pujuth Jayasundara had sent out a warning to top officials about the threat 10 days ago. “A foreign intelligence agency has reported that the NTJ (National Thowheeth Jama’ath) is planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian high commission in Colombo,” said the alert.
An Indian Express report also claims that two sources, one Indian and one Sri Lankan have confirmed that India had sent alert to its southern neighbor about imminent terrorist attacks in the little island nation. Reports also claim that it was on the basis of India intelligence that Sri Lankan police chief had sent out the April 11 warning.
PM Wickremasinghe has also stated that they would need international help to ascertain whether the terrorists had received help from another country. He, however, added that as per his latest information, the terrorists were all locals.
13 people have so far been arrested in connection to the blasts. A curfew had been in place all over the island nation from Sunday evening to Monday morning. Social media and messaging services have also been shut down to curb the spreading of fake news.