Sri Lanka did not heed the alert from India about the possibility of Jihadist attacks as it feared India was trying to create a rift between them and Islamabad, a report in Economic Times claims.
Sri Lankan officials believed that India was trying to pit Colombo against Islamabad by proposing counter-terror operations against certain sections of the Muslim community, sources told ET. They further claimed that the island country doesn’t want to be dragged into an “India-led alliance” against Pakistan and was of the opinion that New Delhi was trying to create a bogey by floating the possibility of suicide attacks.
India had warned relevant authorities in Sri Lanka about possible suicide attacks in the country in advance on the basis of raids on ISIS modules conducted here. The NIA had procured several videos featuring Zahran Hashim, one of the nine suicide bombers involved in the blast, in the electronic devices of the seven alleged ISIS activists arrested in September last year in Coimbatore. NIA had conducted raids in several places last year in the case of an alleged plot to kill Hindu outfit leaders by ISIS-inspired terrorists. These ISIS activists were allegedly radicalised by Hashim on his visit to India.
On the basis of these videos, the Indian Authorities identified Hashim as the leader of National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ) and led investigators to believe Hashim was planning “something big” in Sri Lanka. On the basis of this information from NIA, Indian authorities alerted their Sri Lankan counterparts on April 4 about possible attacks.
The misguided notions of Sri Lankan authorities meant that the terrorists succeeded in their objectives which resulted in the deaths of more than 300 individuals and injured hundreds more. Later, ISIS had claimed responsibility for the massacre.