Tuesday, April 23

Sri Lanka bombings look to me like a military-run op

ISIS has taken advantage of the perpetrators' silence to lay claim to the bombings on Easter Sunday that by this morning's count killed 321 Sri Lankans and wounded 500.  Islamic State also claimed that they carried out the bombings in retaliation for the massacre of Muslims at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on March 15. That would be a neat trick given that planning for the Sri Lankan bombings was clearly well underway prior to March 15.

For their part, Sri Lanka's government has pointed the finger of blame at a radical Sri Lankan Muslim outfit called National Thowfeek Jamaath, whose prior claims to violence were defacing some Buddhist statues, or trying to, and some fistfights with Buddhist monks in the Buddhist-majority country.

So whodunit? More to the point, who planned and oversaw a highly-sophisticated attack in multiple locations in South Asia that went off with clockwork coordination? Gee, I wouldn't want to take a guess.

April 23, 2019, 10.37 AM IST
Lashkar-e-Taiba has fanned radicalism in Sri Lanka
By Bharti Jain, TNN
The Economic Times [India]

  • Indian intelligence has been tracking the influence of Wahabism, with its hardline Islamic beliefs, in eastern Sri Lanka
  • India warned that the region could develop into an operational zone for Lashkar-e-Taiba and like-minded jihadi groups
  • LeT trying to build bases in Sri Lanka over the past one-and-a-half decade, as part of a broader design to "encircle" India
NEW DELHI: India had tipped off Sri Lanka several times over the possibility of a jihadi attack and Indian agencies also pointed to National Thawheed Jamaat (NTJ) having a number of associates and followers in Pakistan.
The Pakistan link to violent groups in Sri Lanka was underlined by Lashkar's charity front Falah-i-Insaniyat advertising in 2016 its presence in the island nation apart from its activities in Syria, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Somalia. The NTJ has been seeking to harness a growing radicalisation, the seeds of which were sown by Lashkar and its 'charity' wing Idara Khidmat-e-Khalq.
March 27, 2019, 04.40 PM IST
India, Sri Lanka hold joint military drill to boost counter-terror cooperation
PTI via The Economic Times 
COLOMBO: India and Sri Lanka have begun a two-week joint military exercise in the island nation with an aim to bring synergy and cooperation including in the field of counter-terrorism between the two armed forces, officials said Wednesday.

The 'Mitra Shakti - VI' annual exercise is designed to bolster military relations further between the armies of India and Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Army said.

It aims to share knowledge on military tactics, experience, exchange of infantry technicalities, counter-terrorism practices, long-range reconnaissance patrol, small group operations, effective employment of infantry weapons, simulated attacks on terrorist hideouts, suicide bombing and improvised explosive devices, officials said.
In New Delhi last week, the Indian Army said that "the exercise will go a long way in further cementing the relationship between both nations and will act as a catalyst in bringing synergy and cooperation at grassroots-levels between both the armies".
Lashkar e-Taiba. Now where have I heard that name before? [muttering to herself] Pakistan's military has so many lashkars I can't keep them straight. [frowning in concentration]  Ah yes. Mumbai, India. 2008. "26/11."


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