Terrorism & Insurgency

Confirmation of Islamic State network would increase likelihood of protracted Islamist campaign in Sri Lanka

26 April 2019

On 26 April, Sri Lankan President Maithripal Sirisena confirmed that Zahran Hashim, the suspected orchestrator of the 21 April suicide bombings in the country, had died during his attack on the Shangri-La hotel in Colombo on that day. This followed unconfirmed international media reports on 24 April, quoting unnamed Sri Lankan security officials, claiming that at least one of the attackers was in communication with the Islamic State core and its Afghanistan-based faction, Wilayat Khorasan.

On 23 April, the Islamic State claimed the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka through its online news portal Amaq, and released videos of the nine purported suicide bombers – subsequently identified as Sri Lankan nationals from affluent backgrounds – swearing allegiance to the group’s leader.

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