The Sri Lankan government suspects that a local Islamist extremist group called National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ) was behind the deadly suicide bomb attacks killed 290 people and wounded more than 500, government spokesperson Rajitha Senaratne said Monday, ONA reports citing Al-Arabiya.
Senaratne, who is also a cabinet minister, added that the government was investigating whether the group had “international support.”
Documents seen AFP show that Sri Lanka’s police chief issued a warning on April 11, saying that a “foreign intelligence agency” had reported NTJ was planning attacks on churches and the Indian high commission.
Not much is known about the NTJ, a radical Muslim group that has been linked to the vandalizing of Buddhist statues.
A police source informed that all 24 people in custody in connection with the attacks belong to an “extremist” group, but did not specify further.