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  1. #1
    Council Member Kevin23's Avatar
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    Default Sri Lanka bombings Easter 2019 (catch all)

    At least 207 people were killed and hundreds more injured as several churches and hotels were rocked by simultaneous explosions on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka.

    Eight explosions took place, including in three Christian churches and three hotels, some commonly used by foreign visitors. In addition to those who were killed at least 450 were wounded, according to officials with police, the Colombo Hospital and St. Sebastian Church.

    There were at least nine foreigners among the dead in Colombo, according to the officials. Two dual citizens of the U.S. and U.K. were among the dead, as well as one Portuguese citizen and two U.K. citizens, according to the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. One American was also among the missing. All of the foreigners died in attacks on hotels.
    https://abcnews.go.com/International...mqiLzx2Em0P4d4

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    This is a curious series of attacks. First of all, multiple targets where the bombs went off around the same time and one sometime afterwards. Then there is the absence of anyone or any group claiming responsibility. Christians make up 7.5% of the population, which is very religious. So is this the work of one person planting the bombs?

    I see the BBC report refers to suicide bombers:https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-48001720

    For background:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Lanka
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    Council Member Kevin23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    This is a curious series of attacks. First of all, multiple targets where the bombs went off around the same time and one sometime afterwards. Then there is the absence of anyone or any group claiming responsibility. Christians make up 7.5% of the population, which is very religious. So is this the work of one person planting the bombs?

    I see the BBC report refers to suicide bombers:https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-48001720

    For background:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Lanka
    The letter, citing foreign intelligence officials, identified the group suspected of planning attacks as National Thowheeth Jama’ath. It named individual members of the group, which it said advocates spreading Islam by killing “nonbelievers.”
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/21/w...fYgEfCT9XVd1Rs

    Appears to be militant Jihadis.

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Understood, although no group claiming responsibility remains a fact. The Soufan Group's commentary might help, notably that such attacks have happened before and a small number if Islamists from Sri Lanka joined IS:https://thesoufancenter.org/intelbri...-in-sri-lanka/
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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Two experts weigh in

    Two experts offer their insight, one via 'The New Yorker' magazine and they explain:
    To discuss Sunday’s atrocities and the political situation in Sri Lanka, I spoke by phone with Amarnath Amarasingam, a senior research fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue who studies extremism in Sri Lanka and the region. During our conversation, which has been edited for length and clarity, we discussed social media’s role in exacerbating ethnic conflict, concerns about Islamic extremist groups gaining a foothold in Sri Lanka, and the Buddhist majority’s “majority within the minority” complex.
    Link:https://www.newyorker.com/news/q-and...pes-sri-lanka?

    His bio:https://www.isdglobal.org/isd_team/amarnath-amrasingam/

    Then there is Jason Burke, in 'The Observer' who adds context and some insight. A far degree of government chaos is apparent, although it appears the police quickly knew where to go - at some cost sadly.
    Link:https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/apr/22/sri-lanka-bombings-islamist-group-blamed-but-focus-also-on-failure-of-security-forces?
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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Moderator at work

    This thread was originally entitled: Sri Lanka bombings: 207 dead, hundreds injured in church, hotel explosions on Easter. It has now been renamed 'Sri Lanka bombings Easter 2019'. It was also in 'The Whole News' arena and has now been moved to the regional arena for South Asia.

    There is an old thread on Sri Lanka where the focus was on defeating the LTTE (Tamil Tigers) in a war that ended ten years ago.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Sri Lanka Reconsiders the Nature of Its Relationship With Saudi Arabia

    I have reopened this thread to accommodate this Soufan Group commentary and here is one passage:
    The investigations into the attacks are still ongoing, and hundreds of people have been detained for alleged involvement. At the center of the inquiry are concerns over Saudi-funded institutions and possible connections to Salafi jihadist ideology. In May, police arrested the founder of the Saudi-supported Centre for Islamic Guidance, Mohamed Aliyar, on charges related to the financing of terrorism. Aliyar had links to Zahran Hashim, a radical preacher who mentored many of the Easter-attack bombers. Locals have claimed that they relayed concerns to security officials about Hashim’s extremism, although these leads were never acted upon. Other prominent Sri Lankan Muslim leaders have also come under scrutiny as authorities review financial transactions between Saudi Arabia and religious leaders in the South Asian island nation. Several of these leaders have been forced to step down due to pressure from politically influential Buddhist monks.
    Link:https://thesoufancenter.org/intelbri...-saudi-arabia/

    Copied from a Saudi Arabia thread.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-10-2019 at 10:18 AM. Reason: 1522v today
    davidbfpo

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