Sri Lankan intelligence officials were already alerted about a deadly attack by Islamist militants hours before a slew of suicide bombings that killed more than 300 people on Easter Sunday, three sources with direct knowledge of the occurrence said.
Without providing evidence of its involvement in the attack, Islamic State claimed full responsibility for the slew of fierce blasts at Churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday which led to the mass killing of 321 people leaving 500 others badly injured.
A statement that was released through its propaganda wing named the Amaq agency, ISIS said the blasts were the work of “fighters of the Islamic State”, but did not attach any proof to justify its claim.
Indian intelligence officers also contacted their Sri Lankan counterparts 2 hours prior to the first attack to warn of a threat on churches, one Sri Lankan defence source and an Indian government source added.
One more Sri Lankan defence source said a warning came “hours before” the first strike.
Another Sri Lankan source said a warning was also sent by the Indians on Saturday night itself. The Indian government source said same kind of messages had been given to Sri Lankan intelligence agents on the dates April 4 and April 20 respectively.
But, both Sri Lanka’s presidency and the Indian foreign ministry did not react or respond to requests.
Sri Lanka’s inability to respond to a Islamist threat will only get worse that a rift between Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and President Maithripala Sirisena is sabotaging national security.
Also, Sri Lankan police had also warned weeks ago about the possibility of such attacks by a Islamist group, as per Indian intelligence report given to Sri Lankan state intelligence services.
Sirisena announcing some strategical plans on Tuesday to change the heads of the defence forces said his office never received any Indian report.