ISIS terrorists celebrate Sri Lanka attacks as revenge for New Zealand mosque massacre
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- National Thowheeth Jamaath National Thowheeth Jama'ath is a Sri Lankan jihadist group implicated in...[+]
- Islamic State ISIS is an Islamic extremist terrorist organization controlling territory in Iraq...[+]
Affected Countries: sri-lanka;
Early evidence points towards Islamist group National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ), according to intelligence chiefs, who warn that more attacks are expected.
Rita Katz, director of respected terror monitoring SITE Intelligence Group, said IS supporters have applauded the attacks on social media, ‘celebrating casualties’.
‘While such a claim may frame the op as revenge for New Zealand, this was likely planned long before,’ she said.
Australian born Brenton Tarrant is facing 50 counts of murder and 39 counts of attempted murder after opening fire on two mosques in Christchurch on March 15.
Fighters from Sri Lanka have been mentioned in ISIS ranks and the country would be ‘easily accessible’ for fanatics, Ms Katz said.
Several Sri Lankan Muslims from ‘well-educated and elite’ families were known to have joined the terror group in Syria, according to Reuters.
The attacks follow just weeks after ISIS launched a global military initiative branded the ‘Revenge Invasion’ as payback for the loss of their territory in Syria.
Police have so far arrested 13 people over the Sri Lanka attacks, describing those in custody only as ‘religious extremists’.
Ten days ago, according to documents seen by the AFP new agency, Sri Lanka’s police chief Pujuth Jayasundara issued an intelligence alert to top officers warning Islamist suicide bombers planned to hit ‘prominent churches’.
‘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,’ the alert said.
The NTJ is a small radical Muslim group in Sri Lanka which has no history of mass fatal attacks, but came to prominence last year linked to the vandalism and desecration of Buddhist statues.
Prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe admitted that information about the attacks had been received in advance but denied having direct knowledge himself.
‘We must look into why adequate precautions were not taken. Neither I nor the ministers were kept informed,’ he said following intense anger in the community.
Manisha Gunasekera, the Sri Lankan High Commissioner to the UK, has said eight British nationals were killed in the attacks.
Source: Daily Mail