The Attacks in Sri Lanka and Trends in Salafi Jihadist Activity

(Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv University) Yoram Schweitzer - The assumption that the attacks in Sri Lanka that targeted the symbols of Christianity and Western tourists and businesspeople was revenge for the attack on mosques in New Zealand is questionable, since the preparations for the Sri Lanka attack began several months previously. Most of the Sri Lanka suicide attackers were educated, middle class, and fairly well off. The leader of the group, Hashim Zahran, who was also one of the suicide bombers, was known for some time as an imam with radical views. The lack of effective cooperation and intelligence sharing between the intelligence, security, and enforcement agencies in Sri Lanka was a central factor in the success of the attack. The military defeat of the Islamic State does not herald its destruction or the end of its activity. In the first quarter of 2019 there were 45 suicide attacks in 17 countries, killing 478 people and wounding 851. This represents a decline of 50% relative to the same period in 2018. The writer heads the Program on Terrorism and Low Intensity Conflict at INSS.

2019-05-02 00:00:00

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