The Islamic State jihadist terror organization (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka that ripped through multiple churches and other public places.
According to a Tuesday morning report at ABC, the jihadist group took ownership of the atrocities via an Arabic statement on its Amaq News agency. Those who carried out the bombings were “among the fighters of the Islamic State,” reads an English translation of the statement from SITE Intelligence Group.
“All that we knew earlier is that there were foreign links and that this could not have been done just locally,” Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told reporters. “There has been training done and a coordination which we [have] not seen earlier.”
While ISIS’ connection to the Easter Sunday bombings has not been confirmed, this is not the first discussion of potential involvement by the organization.
As was reported yesterday, Sri Lankan officials believe that the attacks were carried out by a little-known local jihadist organization called “National Thowheeth Jama’ath,” but a government spokesman said yesterday that officials “do not believe these attacks were carried out by a group of people who were confined to this country.”
Furthermore, an unnamed U.S. official told CNN that the attack was “likely” inspired by the organization, while a known ISIS figure was believed to have been trying to recruit Sri Lankans as far back as 2017.
The death toll of the horrific attacks rose to 310 from 290 on Monday, according to Sri Lankan law enforcement. Additionally, Sri Lankan officials have arrested at least 40 suspects in connection with the bombings, up from 24 people on Monday.
The government has invoked emergency powers to empower law enforcement to respond to the attacks.
President Trump spoke with Prime Minister Wickremesinghe Monday and pledged that the United States would help bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice.