Sri Lankan government is trying to grapple with the aftermath of the terrorist attack with many questioning the handling of the intelligence alerts and prior threat alerts.
On Tuesday, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe held a press briefing where he confirmed that India had provided prior intelligence on the jihadi threat. To a question from India Today, he said, They have always shared intelligence with us. There was specific intelligence on this.
Islamic State through the Amaq agency has claimed responsibility for the serial blasts that rocked the island nation on Easter Sunday. The Prime Minister said that they will follow up on the report.
The security apparatus is of the view that there are foreign links so if the ISIS claimed responsibility, we will follow up on the claim. There was suspicion that there were links with the ISIS.
Sources have told India Today that New Delhi has been constantly engaged with Colombo with regards to the growing trend of activities being carried out by radical Muslim groups. India, according to sources, not only remained engaged with the government authorities but also kept the opposition in the loop on the trends. Although intelligence was shared specifically through proper channels of the government.
The government is also looking into the local angle of it and international assistance has been sought on intelligence sharing.
Despite imminent threats, most churches did not have enough security cover. The PM said, “We are trying to find out why. Some churches had security.”
India on its part continues to provide intelligence to Colombo. Sources said Indian High Commission and Indian properties in Colombo were also under threat. A serious attack on the Taj property was averted, according to sources.
There are about 500 Indian expats living in Colombo apart from around 80 Indian staff and diplomats working in the Indian High Commission.
A senior official said that this injected terrorism has become an area of huge concern for Sri Lanka.
Even as the country is working towards containing the tense situation, State Minister of Defence Rawan Wijewardene during the joint session of the parliament said that this was an attack to avenge the Christchurch attack in the mosques in New Zealand by a radical Islamic group.