Reports say foreign intelligence warned Sri Lanka 10 Days before the attacks
Major terrorist attack rocked Sri Lanka when it was celebrating Easter Sunday on the 21st of April.
Eight coordinated bomb blasts killed at least 290 people and left over 500 injured.
- Sri Lanka PM Ranil Wickremesinghe said late Sunday that intelligence services had received reports warning about possible suicide bombings
- The warnings had mentioned possible attacks on ‘Prominent Churches’ and the ‘Indian High Commission’
- PM Wickremesinghe said warning had not been acted upon and no information was passed on to him
- A foreign intelligence agency report said NTJ (National Thowheeth Jama’ath) an extremist group was planning attacks.
- While no responsibility has been claimed till now, Defence Minister, Ruwan Wijewardene, identified the culprits as religious extremists
PM Wickremesinghe also said that an inquiry will look into why adequate precautions were not taken.
Defence Minister Wijewardene said, while suspects have been identified, their names will not be released to the public for security reasons. Local media reports 13 people arrested in a police raid.
Wijewardene further said that the arrested were locals, but investigators were looking into possible ‘overseas links.’
Sri Lanka’s Minister of Communications Harin Fernando said that some intelligence officers were aware the warning. He opined this confirms a delay in action, urging action on why the warning was ignored.
Terrorists might target Sri Lanka again
In a revised travel advisory, the U.S. State Department has said that ‘terrorist groups’ were continuing to plot possible attacks in Sri Lanka after the Easter Sunday Attacks
The revised warning from Sunday stated that “Terrorists may attack with little or no warning,”. Possible targets include tourist locations, transportation hubs, shopping malls, hotels, places of worship, airports and other public areas.