ISIS

ISIS claims responsibility for Sri Lanka attacks

Church roped off from Sri Lanka bombing
Photo: Lakrwan Wanniarachchi/AFP/Getty Images

ISIS claimed responsibility on Tuesday for the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka that killed at least 321 people and injured more than 500, but did not immediately offer proof for its claim, the AP reports.

The big picture: Sri Lankan officials said earlier that they believed the attacks were a retaliation against the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand in March, which killed 50 and injured 42.

Go deeper: Sri Lankan attacks underscore continued threat of jihadist groups

Expert Voices

Sri Lankan attacks underscore continued threat of jihadist groups

interior of a church after the bomb blast
Sri Lankan military officers inspecting damage from the bomb blast at St. Sebastian's Church, in Negombo, Sri Lanka, on April 22, 2019. Photo: Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The terrorist attack Sunday in Sri Lanka that killed 290 — including several U.S. citizens — and wounded another 500 was among the top 5 deadliest attacks outside of a war zone since 9/11. The group blamed by the Sri Lankan government for the attack, National Thowheeth Jama’ath, was not publicly known in the West.

Why it matters: The Sri Lankan attacks are an important reminder that jihadist terrorism remains a significant threat, especially in the region spanning West Africa to Southeast Asia. There are at least 3 times as many Islamic extremists in the world today as there were on 9/11. This form of terrorism could persist for generations.