Authorities in Sri Lanka reportedly received warnings of possible domestic Islamic terror attacks 2 weeks before the Easter church bombings occurred Sunday, killing nearly 300 Christians.
Sri Lankan Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne says that international intelligence agencies warned Sri Lankan authorities several times of possible attacks in early April, the Guardian reported Monday.
“Fourteen days before these incidents occurred, we had been informed about these incidents,” Senaratne told a press conference in Colombo on Monday.
He claimed that the chief of national intelligence in the country wrote to the police chief April 9 with a warning about a potential attack that included the name of the terror group responsible — National Thowfeek Jaamath. (RELATED: Sri Lanka Blames Easter Bombings On Local Jihadis)
“On 9 April, the chief of national intelligence wrote a letter and in this letter many of the names of the members of the terrorist organisation were written down,” Senaratne continued.
National Thowfeek Jaamath is a recently formed terror organization in Sri Lanka known for its strong anti-Buddhist sentiment and alignment with the global Jihadist cause, according to the Guardian.
On April 11, police reportedly contacted the heads of security of the judiciary and diplomatic security division, alerting them to the warnings they received. There is allegedly no evidence that any preventative action was taken after. (RELATED: ‘A River Of Blood’: Coordinated Church Bombings Leave More Than 200 Dead In Sri Lanka)
Sri Lanka Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and other top officials say that they were never informed about the warnings, leading to an investigation as to why communications concerning the possible attacks failed to reach them. The prime minister and his cabinet do not attend national security council meetings, which are instead headed by Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena.