ISIS “claims responsibilty” for Sri Lanka attacks

The Easter Sunday attacks

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the bombings in Sri Lanka that killed more than 320 people, according to the group’s Amaq news agency.

The group released a photograph of the alleged ringleader of the attacks, as well as what it said was the nom de guerre of each attacker. It said the bombers targeted citizens of the U.S.-led coalition fighting ISIS and referred to Easter as an “infidel holiday”.

Experts have said the suicide bombings of three churches and three luxury hotels bear the hallmarks of the group, but they have questioned the seeming illogical choice of target and motive.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister said on Tuesday there were more explosives and militants “out there”. Ranil Wickremesinghe also acknowledged there was a prior warning of the attacks and said some officials would likely lose their jobs over intelligence lapses.

Earlier, Sri Lanka’s defence minister, Ruwan Wijewardene, said the attacks were a response to the recent mass shooting of Muslim worshippers in Christchurch in New Zealand.

“The preliminary investigations have revealed that what happened in Sri Lanka was in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch,” Wijewardene told a Parliament, referring to the terrorist attack by a white supremacist in March in which 50 people were killed. The minister did not present any evidence for his claim.

In recent years, ISIS has made a number of claims of responsibility for attacks that it either had nothing to do with or which were only tenuously linked to it.

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