There is an urgent need to counter the ISIS indoctrinated kafirophobic radicalisation philosophy on the rational and social grounds such that those inclined towards religious learning do not succumb to develop the suicidal mindscape
– Dr Pramod Pathak
As long as individual countries do not stop promoting the terrorist cause to promote temporary gains, it is not possible to really bring down the extent of terrorist activities spread in many countries
Serial blasts on Easter Sunday on April 21 in Sri Lanka sent jitters all through the globe. These suicide bomb blasts occurred within a span of about 30 minutes in three Churches where a large number of devotees had congregated and three luxury hotels where foreign tourists frequented in large numbers. Well-coordinated blasts killed no less than 350 people and injured hundreds. About eleven Indian citizens succumbed to death. These blasts were targeted against the Christian community and foreign tourists, who are vital to the economy. It reminded of well-planned serial blasts in Mumbai in 1993 and 2006.
Sri Lanka declared Emergency all over the island to prevent retaliatory mob attacks by local Sinhalese Christian fringe groups on the Muslim enclaves. Police swung into action to track down the mastermind behind the blasts. Two truckloads of explosives were tracked. It was also anticipated that such coordinated action, with ample supply of ammunition, could not have occurred but for the transnational support. Simultaneously our National Investigation Agency (NIA) and local police from the States of Kerala and Tamil Nadu swung into action to identify the culprits. Two organisations, National Thowheedh Jamaath and Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim, were identified to have carried out these terror attacks. By the end of the week, about 140 suspects were being tracked for the terrorism-related activities. The mastermind of the attack was identified as firebrand cleric Zarhan Hashim, who was one of the suicide bombers.
The hideout of other suicide bombers was accidentally found by Muslim youth. The youth alerted the locals. After terrorists refused to come out of their hideouts, a battle raged between Security forces and the terrorists followed by two suicide bomb blasts wherein their family members were killed. One of the suicide bombers was a Muslim woman who blew herself up with her kids. Investigations pointed to the involvement of a rich family of MY Ibrahim, known as the ‘spice king’ of Sri Lanka. His sons possibly planned these massive attacks over long time, putting enormous money and resources, often travelling abroad.
It came to light that the Sri Lankan Government was alerted about possible terror attacks but the warnings went unheeded. The cause of ignored warnings was the result of a political feud among the top echelon of power which descended from the Sri Lankan President and the Prime Minister. It divided the Government machinery along feudal lines, and apathy crept in. The President openly acknowledged that intelligence reports were not shared with him. The State Minister of Defence acknowledged that it was a major lapse not to heed to the repeated warnings of attack from certain groups (The Indian Express April 25). Even the local Muslim organisations had brought nefarious activities to the notice of the local authorities. Our intelligence agencies had alerted SL on the imminent threats early April, and attacks on churches just two hours before the blasts. Here is an example of stark bureaucratic bungle which compromised the national security. Although it was known that several ISIS recruits had returned from the West Asia, they were not arrested. As the Prime Minister conceded, they could not be arrested as joining a foreign terrorist organisation is not against the law of the land and stated that he does not rule out the possibility of further attacks. As expected few heads in the Government echelon rolled including the Police Chief, Defence Secretary. It was apathy and sheer negligence that resulted in these blasts. A reason being forwarded is that Sri Lanka was a soft target on account of legal impropriety. Residual LTTE modules, tonnes of explosives available in the country which faced decades of internecine war, some former cadres of the terrorist organisations may be behind the planning and execution of these blasts. It was the total failure of the local command that made the task of plotters easy (The Indian Express April 27).
BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje’s letter to Rajnath Singh