Sri Lanka has seen a spike in Jihadi activity since 2017
Colombo, Apr 21: The problem of the Islamic State has been rampant in Sri Lanka since 2016.
That year the Parliament was told that 32 Muslims from elite families had joined the ISIS.
The following year, scores of Sri Lankan ISIS terrorists had returned from Syria, following which there was a spike in Jihadi activity.
It may also be recalled that a postgraduate student from Sri Lanka, Mohammad Nizamdeen was charged with ISIS affiliated terror related offence in Australia. He was accused of being part of a plot to assassinate an Australian politician. Incidentally he is the nephew of MP Faiszer Musthapha, a cabinet minister in the Sri Lankan government
In January this year authorities in Sri Lanka seized a huge cache of explosives at Wanathawilluwa. It was said that this belonged to a module of the ISIS, who were attempting major blasts at historic Buddhist monuments. An imam and a maulvi were also arrested in connection with the incident.
On April 11, the police got an input that terrorists would target 11 Churches in the country. It warned that Catholics would be the target of the attack. Moreover the serial bombings that rocked Colombo bear the signature of the Islamic State. The nation has been under the radar of the Islamic State for nearly three years now.
It may be recalled that in 2016 there were reports that 32 elite Muslims had joined the Islamic State. The ISIS had warned that it would target the Buddhists in Sri Lanka.
Further looking at the pattern of the blast and also the fact that the attack was targeted only at the Catholics and foreigners, it suggests that the outfit has a hand behind this attack.
Initial reports that emerged after bomb blasts ripped Colombo suggest that a suicide bomber could have been involved.
One of the prime reasons for the casualty being so high could be due to the fact that a suicide bomber was involved. The attacks at the Shangri La hotel and the Batticalao Church appear to be the handiwork of a suicide bomber.
The initial impressions also indicate that RDX could have been used in the attack and hence the impact was so high. Over 100 people have been killed in the blasts that took place in Sri Lanka today. Reports suggest that the suicide bombers have been identified as Zahran Hashim and Abu Mohammad.
An Intelligence Bureau official in India tells OneIndia that the target was clearly the Catholics. The Christians who form 6 per cent of the country's population were out in large numbers due to Easter. Moreover the attack comes 10 days after a warning was issued about Churches being attacked in the country.
A message received by the police on April 11 stated that 11 Churches would be attacked. It was further warned that all the Catholics should go home and this should be informed to all the families.
With the blasts today, the intelligence in Sri Lanka has warned that there could be more attacks.
The country has been placed under very high alert and security has been tightened all over.
People have been advised to stay indoors and not venture out. Investigators are on the scene and are gathering as much evidence as possible.