Authorities in Sri Lanka have implicated a small extremist group called National Thowfeek Jamaath for the Easter weekend bombings. But how could a small group pull off a coordinated attack of such sophistication?
The answer might have arrived via the Islamic State’s Amaq news agency, reports the New York Times.
ISIS has claimed credit for organizing the “infidel holiday” attacks. The group named seven suicide bombers, or at least their nom de guerres, and listed the specific bombing carried out by each.
CCTV video obtained by the Guardian appears to show one of the bombers.
The BBC adds the caveat that ISIS has previously claimed credit for attacks without any evidence.
“We can’t tell you immediately, definitively to whom they had links,” said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of the bombers. But “there was suspicion that there were links with ISIS” from the get-go, he added.
Sri Lanka is not among the nations fighting against ISIS in a US-led coalition, but the bombings hit hotels frequented by foreigners, in addition to the Christians who were in churches.
The prime minister also has said the government thinks the attacks were in retaliation for the mosque massacres in New Zealand. One especially somber stat: UNICEF says at least 45 children were among the approximately 320 fatalities in Sri Lanka, reports the AP.