Deadly Attacks in Sri Lanka Could Have Been Stopped

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Deadly Attacks in Sri Lanka Could Have Been Stopped

Photo: Chamila Karunarathne, AP

Photo: Chamila Karunarathne, AP

Photo: Chamila Karunarathne, AP

Photo: Chamila Karunarathne, AP

Colin Koot

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At least 321 people have died in a series of coordinated attacks on churches during Easter Sunday (April 22) in Sri Lanka. Authorities were notified of a possible threat ten days before the attack, but did not take any course of action.

A radical Islamic terrorist group called National Throwheeth Jama’ath claimed responsibility for the bombings, most of which were initiated by suicide bombers.  The government was informed of possible attacks, but dismissed the threat.

“The confidential security memo laid it all out: names, addresses, phone numbers, even the times in the middle of the night that one suspect would visit his wife,” wrote Jeffrey Gettleman in the New York Times.

ISIS called the bombers its “fighters” and said that it helped coordinate the attack.  A Sri Lankan government official said that the bombings were in retaliation to the attacks on mosques in New Zealand last month.

Sri Lanka had recently taken a big step forward after years of war and political turmoil. Failing to stop these acts of violence set the country back, but how they react to their situation will tell the world a lot about the country.  

“Spoke to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe of Sri Lanka this morning to inform him that the United States stands by him and his country in the fight against terrorism. Also expressed condolences on behalf of myself and the People of the United States!” tweeted President Donald Trump on Sunday.

The country shut down all social media platforms for a brief period of time following the bombings in order to control the spread of fake news.  Sure enough, numerous false stories were circulating across the internet. Many people say that act by Sri Lanka saved even more lives.

“The extraordinary step reflects growing global concern, particularly among governments, about the capacity of American-owned networks to spin up violence,” the New York Times reported.

Among those killed were a fifth-grader from Washington, DC, an education publishing employee from Colorado, and a British mother and her two kids.

“There are so many bad people in the world.  Why kill the innocents?” said a woman whose 11-year-old granddaughter was killed.

Through all of the carnage, Sri Lanka must rebuild and remain calm.  The victim’s families and the entire country is depending on it.