‘Sri Lanka attack to avenge Syria ouster’: IS chief Baghdadi in first video in 5 years
In a major development, the leader of the Islamic State (IS) group has praised the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka and apparently called them revenge for the fall of Baghouz, Syria - the last territory that the extremist group held in West Asia.
The US-based SITE Intelligence Group said the acknowledgement of the Sri Lanka attack by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi came during his first propaganda video in five years.
The 18-minute video released on Monday by Islamic State’s al-Furqan media arm suggests Baghdadi filmed the video prior to the Sri Lanka attack.
It is his first video appearance since he delivered a sermon at al-Nuri mosque in the Iraqi city of Mosul in 2014, declaring himself the “caliph” of the territory IS held. The Easter bombings in Sri Lanka killed over 250 people.
Earlier in the day, Sri Lankan security officials warned that militants behind the suicide bombings are still planning imminent attacks and could be “dressed in military uniforms”.
The militants were targeting five locations for attacks on Sunday or Monday, security sources said. Also, female bombers posing as devotees may have been planning to attack Sri Lanka’s Buddhist temples, a media report said on Monday