Colombo, April 23 (IANS): Sri Lanka’s Minister of State for Defence Ruwan Wijewardene on Tuesday said that the Easter Sunday suicide bombings which killed 321 people were a response to the mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March.
Wijewardene told a special sitting of Parliament that investigations had shown that “this attack was carried out in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch” that left 50 people dead.
While admitting that there were weaknesses in the defence system, he said the government would take all necessary action to eradicate all terror groups, the Daily Mirror reported.
An intelligence memo circulated to some officials in the Sri Lankan government in the weeks before the bombings noted that one member of the terrorist group identified as having perpetrated the bombings had started to update his social media accounts “with extremist content” in the aftermath of the shootings by a rightwing extremist in New Zealand .
But terrorism researchers say that the sophisticated nature of the attack and the equipment used would likely have required months of preparation, including conditioning the suicide bombers and testing the explosives.
Wijewardene also reiterated in Parliament that the Prime Minister and key officials were never told about the possibility of an impending attack.