Colombo, May 1 (IANS): The whole world should be vigilant following the threat by the Islamic State terror group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has said.
“Baghdadi said his organisation is ready to attack any city in the world any time. This is a threat to the entire world. Therefore, all countries should see that their defence forces are on alert,” Wickremesinghe said in a statement cited by the Daily Mirror on Wednesday.
The terror group had earlier this week released a video of a man it claimed was Baghdadi. He has not been seen since 2014, when he proclaimed from Mosul creation of a “caliphate” across parts of Syria and Iraq.
In the footage, Baghdadi said Sri Lanka Easter Sunday bombings that killed 253 people were carried out as revenge for the fall of the Syrian town of Baghuz.
Wickremesinghe said Baghdadi’s statement that attacks in Sri Lanka were in retaliation to the capture of the land would be investigated. The US-led Kurdish fighters took over the last pocket of land held by the IS, recently.
“This is why I concentrated on ensuring people’s security rather than spending time debating with others on the Easter Sunday attacks,” the Sri Lankan leader said.
He said many arrests had been made and arms were being recovered due to the ability of security forces and the intelligence units. “We will arrest all who were involved in attacks.”
“Focus should be on those who are trying to get political mileage out of the present situation and also on the media that is helping them. The intention of these forces is to create an inter-religious clash,” Wickremesinghe said.
He urged all political parties and citizens to support the security forces to ensure the country’s safety.