A day after eight blasts ripped through luxury hotels flanked by foreigners and churches where Easter worshippers were amassed,
the Sri Lankan government says that it believes that a local Islamist extremist group was behind the deadly suicide bomb attacks that claimed at least 290 lives.
According to government spokesman Rajitha Senaratne, the government was ascertaining whether the group, identified as National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ), had “international support”.
It has come to light that Sri Lanka’s police chief had on April 11 issued a warning, saying that a “foreign intelligence agency” had cautioned that NTJ, a radical Muslim group, was not only plotting attacks on churches but also on the Indian High Commission.
It is to be noted that the NTJ had also been linked to the vandalism of Buddhist statues in 2018.
Not much is known about the group but reports suggest the radical Islamist group was formed in Kattankudy, a Muslim-dominated town in eastern Sri Lanka, in 2014.
The group is not associated with any mass fatality attack in the past.
According to ColomboPage, sources in the Sri Lanka Muslim community allege that the NTJ has publicly backed the Islamic State.
They added that Zahran Hashim, who is said to be one of the Easter Sunday bombers, was the NTJ founder.