The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the blasts which rocked Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday. Over 320 people were killed and over 550 people were injured in the attack at churches and hotels.
Claiming responsibility for the bombings via its Amaq news portal, ISIS said the blasts were in retaliation to firing at two mosques in New Zealand which led to the death of 50 Muslims.
The message was aired on Amaq's channel on Telegram app, reports News.com. The video, which is suspected to be from Al Guraba Media, relayed the message from ISIS - "This bloody day is our reward to you."
The Sri Lankan government had first placed the blame on local religious group National Thowheed Jamaath. However, intelligence officials felt that the group, which could not completely deface a Buddhist statue, would not be able to carry out a mission on such a large scale. According to TOI, they felt that the NJT would have done this with external help.
One of the reasons many believe that the men - Abu Ubaida, Abul Barra, Abul Mukhtar - were part of the mission is because the images were released by pro-ISIS news channels. Another reason is that one of the men, Abu Ubaida, is also known as Zahran Hashin, who is said to be an operative for NTJ.
The blasts occurred on April 21, which also happened to be Easter. Churches targetted were St Sebastian's in Negombo on the West coast of Sri Lanka, a church in Batticaloa and St Anthony's church in Colombo.
Five-star hotels in the country were also targetted. They were the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand, and the Kindbury.