Colombo, April 20 (IANS) A second attack was planned by the perpetrators of the April 2019 Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka that targeted churches and hotels killing over 250 people, the Police said, giving a rare update on their year-long investigation.
Information of the planned second attack was revealed by the ongoing investigations into the April 21, 2019, bombings by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the Daily Financial Times quoted police spokesman SP Jaliya Senaratne as saying to the media on Sunday.
According to Senaratne, several persons involved in the bombings were arrested recently.
“According to ongoing investigations, it has been revealed that these suspects who were arrested (recently) have worked with certain organisations in order to preach Muslim extremism, misleading youth by giving them a wrong interpretation of Islam,” he said.
Senaratne also denied allegations that a lawyer who was recently arrested was acting in his professional capacity, alleging that he had acted illegally.
“We saw a lot of criticism directed at the CID for arresting the lawyer. I must stress that the CID does not arrest people in an irresponsible manner. This was a heinous crime; hundreds of people lost their lives, many more were injured.
“Even today, some of those who survived live with the aid of medical equipment. Therefore enforcing the law strictly against those who were involved in such a crime is the core duty of the police,” he said.
He further said that the CID had found evidence that the suspects had worked with some of the bombers to establish certain organisations, the Daily Financial Times reported.
“Among the suspects arrested are those who provided funding for these organisations and provided leadership for them,” he added, pointing out that investigations were continuing.
On April 21, 2019, three churches and three luxury hotels in Colombo were targeted in the series of coordinated suicide bombings, which apart from the victims also injured more than 500 people.
the attacks were claimed by the Islamic State terror group.