The Islamic State group claims that they were behind the suicide bombings in three churches and three hotels in Sri Lanka.
Reports indicated the terror group published a statement and video claiming their so-called “fighters” were responsible for the attack. They even listed and showed the name of each suicide bombers swearing their allegiance to the cause.
Investigations by Sri Lankan officials suggest the attack was the group’s retaliation towards the Christchurch attacks which happened in March this year.
Moreover, ISIS named Mohammed Zahran, a Muslim community leader, as the mastermind of the attacks. It was reported that he is a racist and supporter of Islamic supremacy.
Malaysian Chronicle mentioned how Zahran had posted videos of his speeches in the past, with one addressing how Sri Lankan Muslims can help Dr Zakir Naik. Infamously known for stirring racial tension, Zakir is still wanted in Bangladesh and India, but dodges capture by residing in Malaysia.
Zakir Naik is seen as one of the top issues related to the Sri Lanka attacks.
In light of the attacks, there is an on-going petition to urge Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to expel Zakir from Malaysia. Led by UK Islamologist Farouk A. Peru, he called on Tun M to stop fundamentalist preachers before it is too late.
A look at the local media share chart below clearly shows Free Malaysia Today as the top news outlet covering the story on ISIS’s attack claim, as they have posted at least 36 articles related to it.
As of writing, the death toll increased to 320 victims, while there were 40 arrests by the Sri Lankan police. The Sri Lankan military force have been authorised with “emergency power” to conduct searches without warrants and detain suspects for up to 2 weeks.