Muslim Leader Says Sri Lanka Easter Attackers Received State Money
The Islamic extremist group behind the deadly Easter bombings in Sri Lanka that killed 258 people received funds from the state, Azath Salley, who quit last week as governor of Western Province, told a parliamentary investigation, according to a report by the AFP. The bombings were orchestrated by Zahran Hashim, radical leader of the extremist group National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ). “The defense ministry paid the Thowheeth Jama’ath. The police worked closely with the Thowheeth Jama’ath,” Salley reportedly told the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC). Salley added that a week before the attacks he warned top defense officials about threats from Islamic radicals. Several officials have already informed the PSC that authorities failed to implement a proper security plan even after receiving warnings. President Maithripala Sirisena sacked his national intelligence chief, Sisira Mendis, after the latter told the PSC that the attacks could have been averted. Sirisena has refused to cooperate with the committee and has repeatedly denied he was aware of an imminent threat.