SRI LANKA- Officials in Sri Lanka had received warnings about an upcoming attack weeks before the Easter suicide bombings that killed more than 300 people.
The attacks were reportedly revenge for the Christchurch mosque shootings.
Authorities in the Buddhist-majority country believe the local Islamist group National Thowfeek Jamaath was behind the attacks, presumably with international terror networks providing “Support.” The militant group was apparently motivated by the shooting attacks on mosques in New Zealand, officials said.
“The preliminary investigations have revealed that what happened in Sri Lanka was in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch,” state minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene told lawmakers on Tuesday.
The police are holding a Syrian in custody for questioning over the attack, an unnamed source told the Reuters news agency.
Interpol investigators on the way On Tuesday, authorities upped the death toll to 310, saying that more people have died of their injuries since the attack.
Sri Lankan military and police had prior warning of the attacks, but the information never reached top officials, according to Health Minister Rejitha Seneratne.
Neither Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe nor his cabinet members were informed until after the attacks took place, Seneratne said.
Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith of Colombo said the attacks could have been averted.