There has been a great upheaval in the government of Sri Lanka, after the bombings that took place across the country on Easter Sunday last week. On Wednesday, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena announced that he was forcing two of the country’s top national security officials to resign.
The country’s police chief, Pujith Jayasundara, and Defense Secretary Hemasiri Fernando have been banished from their posts, amid accusations that the terrorist group responsible for the explosions has infiltrated the government. The president said that many other officials can be expected to be fired in the coming weeks as investigations continue. It is possible that these officials may be sentenced to prison if major crimes are discovered, but now it seems that they are simply losing their jobs.
There were so many security flaws that led to last week’s attacks that it is obvious that ISIS had help within the government. Sri Lankan intelligence officials are now under suspicion after ignoring numerous warnings about the local terrorist cell that was affiliated with ISIS.
The group was denounced by people from the local community on numerous occasions, and there were even police officers who tried to warn the government of an imminent attack. Unfortunately, these warnings were swept and ignored by the intelligence agencies, and it is believed that this was intentional.
Just ten days before the attack, on April 11, a senior police officer issued an intelligence report warning that the local radical group could be targeting local churches for possible suicide bombings.
Hilmy Ahamed, vice president of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, told intelligence officials about the group at least 3 different times, the last time in February. On the day of the attack, Sri Lankan officials were warned again, but did nothing to stop the attacks. A few hours before the attack, the Indian authorities warned that the intelligence was pointing to an incoming terrorist attack, but the government of Sri Lanka did nothing.
Lakshman Kiriella, the minister of public enterprises of Sri Lanka, told parliament this week that high-ranking intelligence officials intentionally covered up information about the attacks.
“Some senior intelligence officials purposely hid intelligence information. The information was there, but the main brass security officials did not take the appropriate measures. Someone is controlling these high intelligence officials. The Security Council is doing politics. We have to investigate this, “said Kiriella.
The situation becomes even more interesting and disturbing when one considers that many of these terrorists come from the same family. Nor is it any family, it is one of the richest families in the country of Sri Lanka, the dynasty of the rich spice merchant Mohammed Yusuf Ibrahim. Two of Ibrahim’s sons were suicide bombers in the Easter Sunday attacks.
“It was a single terrorist cell operated by a family. They had the money and the motivation. They operated the cell and it is believed that they influenced their extended family, “said one researcher,
“What we have gathered so far is that they had indicated to their close family what they were going to do. It seems that they were inspired by foreign terrorist groups, but to what extent they had direct links is not yet clear, “said another police officer.
This has been called the most lethal terrorist attack abroad since the attacks on the world trade center on September 11, 2001. This does not include the attacks that have taken place in the territory of ISIS under its regime. The death toll within the ISIS regime is currently unknown, but it is expected to be staggering.
For the attack on Sunday, the numbers are still unclear, but it was reported that more than 320 people died and hundreds of others were injured.
After the attacks, the government of Sri Lanka imposed a curfew and closed social media and courier services for the entire country. Authorities are still looking for homes across the country for clues and other suspects. More than 60 people have been arrested so far, and many more arrests are expected.