Sri Lankan authorities released new details Wednesday regarding the deadly Easter Sunday bombings that killed 359 people over the weekend; saying the terrorists were “wealthy” and “well-educated.”
“Details began to emerge in Sri Lanka on Wednesday of a band of nine, well-educated Islamist suicide bombers, including a woman, from well-to-do families who slaughtered 359 people in Easter Sunday bomb attacks,” reports Reuters.
Recently released footage shows eight men and one woman launching the deadly suicide attacks at churches and hotels during Easter services.
“Most of the bombers are well-educated, come from economically strong families. Some of them went abroad for studies,” said Sri Lanka’s Junior Defense Minister. “One of them we know went to the UK, then went to Australia for a law degree. Foreign partners, including the UK, are helping us with those investigations.”
NYPD TERROR CHIEF: Sri Lanka Easter Bombings Could Signal ‘Resurgence of al Qaeda’
NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Counterterrorism weighed-in Monday on the series of deadly bombings that rocked Sri Lanka over the Easter weekend; saying the attacks could signify the “resurgence of al Qaeda” in the region.
"What you’re looking at is the kind of operation that would take a great deal of organization, a good deal of funding, and more importantly, a fairly large number of people for your average terrorist plot." — NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence & @NYPDCT John Miller pic.twitter.com/A2AaxvL4Kz
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) April 22, 2019
“What we heard, we didn’t like. Which was a complex, multi-location attack that was very well organized. And then making sure we put the pieces into place here against any similar targets,” Miller said.
“Number one, is this the resurgence of Al Qaeda, which has been expanding its network to pick up these affiliates? Because it is certainly more their style. Number two: Is this an ISIS-influenced group? When ISIS has gone from being a caliphate, gone from being an infantry, and now remains solely as a terrorist group. And number three: Is this a local group that has grown in sophistication and complexity,” Miller added.
REPORT: Sri Lanka Officials Warned ‘Weeks’ in Advance of Terror Plot Against Churches
Few details emerged Monday just hours after a series of deadly bombings targeted Sri Lanka’s churches and hotels took the lives of nearly 300 people; with the New York Times reporting local authorities were warned “weeks” in advance of the Easter attacks.
“In the days leading up to the devastating suicide attacks that killed nearly 300 people in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, the country’s security agencies had been closely watching a secretive cell of the National Thowheeth Jama’ath, a little-known radical Islamist organization that security officials in Sri Lanka now say carried out the attacks,” reports the New York Times.
“The security agencies had even been given specific intelligence on April 11 that the group, also known by the spelling National Thowheed Jama’ath, was planning to bomb Catholic churches. India appeared to have shared warnings with them about the group more than a week before then,” adds the author.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.