The Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsiblility for the Sri Lanka Easter Sunday terrorist attacks which killed more than 300 people and injured several hundred more. The claim has not yet been verified by Sri Lankan officials.
FOX News ISIS has claimed responsibility Tuesday morning for the coordinated Sri Lanka Easter bombings as the death toll in the massacre has risen to 321.
The international terror group tweeted via its propaganda wing that the violence was carried out by “fighters of the Islamic State,” reports said. It later put out a second message naming the alleged bombers and the sites they targeted.
The terror group’s assertion comes amid Sri Lanka’s minister of defense claiming the bombings at multiple churches and hotels in Colombo were “carried out in retaliation” for attacks on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15.
CCTV footage of suspected suicide bomber entering St. Sebastian’s Church before he exploded his vest:
CCTV footage has emerged of a suspected suicide bomber entering St Sebastian's Church in Sri Lanka moments before an explosion.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) April 23, 2019
Sri Lankan officials also have blamed the domestic Islamic militant group National Thowfeek Jamaath for the bombings and authorities revealed the little-known outfit likely received assistance in carrying out the horrific plot.
But Sri Lanka’s government has not produced evidence directly linking the attacks to the massacre in New Zealand, or to National Thowfeek Jamaath.
Faith leaders in Sri Lanka told the Associated Press on Tuesday that National Thowfeek Jamaath’s purported leader, known as Mohammed Zahran or Zahran Hashmi, started posting videos online three years ago calling for non-Muslims to be “eliminated.” They added that their repeated warnings about National Thowfeek Jamaath drew no visible reaction from officials responsible for public security.
“It was basically a hate campaign against all non-Muslims,” said Hilmy Ahamed, the vice president of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka. “Basically, he was saying non-Muslims have to be eliminated.”