Colombo: The United States has issued a warning that Sri Lanka is prone to a threat from active members of the terror group who were responsible for the suicide attacks on Easter Sunday, stated a report on Tuesday. Therefore, US security experts are working closely with Sri Lanka to fulfil ‘short term, specific objectives’ related to the recent attacks and to bring the perpetrators to justice, according to the US Embassy.
Nancy VanHorn, the spokesperson at the US Embassy in Colombo reportedly said, “As the (US) Ambassador (Alaina Teplitz) has previously stated and as reflected in our travel advisory, the terrorist threat is ongoing.”
The Sri Lankan authorities claimed that a little-known local militant Islamist group namely National Tawheed Jamath (NTJ) were behind the Easter Sunday attack that claimed the lives of 253 people and injured over 500 more. However, the Islamic State terror group on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the attacks. The ISIS also released video of men who it claimed were the bombers, pledging allegiance to the group.
The attackers had targetted three Catholic churches and three luxury hotels. Ambassador Teplitz recently said, “These terrible attacks are the work of a few individuals and not of an entire community. Sri Lankans of all backgrounds and faiths have come together to condemn these atrocities. Unity is the most powerful answer to terrorism.”
Teplitz further underscored that “We must remain vigilant in defending the democratic ideals that form the pillars of a strong society.” She added, “And we must do so without destroying communities of peaceful, innocent people who share the faith of the attackers, but not their warped ideology.” Thus, the US Department of State warned that the terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist spots, religious places other public areas.
(With agency inputs)