What We Know and Don’t Know About the Sri Lanka Attacks
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attacks by suicide bombers on Sunday in Sri Lanka that killed more than 300 people and wounded about 500.
The victims came from at least eight countries, and included worshipers at Easter Sunday services at the three churches that were among the targets of the coordinated bombings.
The authorities in Sri Lanka said on Tuesday that the attack was carried out by National Thowheeth Jama’ath with help from international militants and possibly another local militant group, Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim.
斯里兰卡当局周二表示，袭击是由国家一神教团(National Thowheeth Jama'ath)组织在国际武装分子的帮助下实施的，并可能得到了另一当地武装组织易卜拉欣真信会(Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim)的援助。
What we know about the attacks
• Investigators are looking into the possibility that the bombings were carried out as retribution for the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March, the authorities said, although they did not elaborate or cite evidence to support that assessment.
• The F.B.I. has joined the investigation.
• Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said “foreign involvement” was likely and that some of the attackers had traveled abroad recently. “Some of the evidence,” Mr. Wickremesinghe said, points to links with the Islamic State, although the militant group has presented little evidence to back up its claim of responsibility.
· 总理拉尼尔·维克拉马辛哈(Ranil Wickremesinghe)称，很有可能存在“外国势力参与”，且一些袭击者近期曾前往国外。维克拉马辛哈称“其中一些证据”指向与伊斯兰国的联系，尽管该武装组织几乎未提供多少证据支持其声称对此负责的表态。
• The Sri Lankan government acknowledged that more than 10 days before the attacks, a foreign intelligence agency gave the country’s security officials a detailed warning of a possible threat to churches by National Thowheeth Jama’ath.
• That the country’s security agencies did not aggressively act on the warnings is being called a “colossal failure on the part of the intelligence services” and has created a crisis for the government.
• The archbishop of Colombo joined elected officials and others in chastising the government for a serious lapse in security and for failing to warn that a terrorist group planned to attack churches.
• The death toll has risen to 321. Unicef, the United Nations’ children agency, said that at least 45 of those killed were children.
• Sri Lanka’s president declared on Monday a conditional state of emergency that gave the security services sweeping powers to arrest and interrogate people, and to conduct searches. A dusk-to-dawn curfew remains in effect in Colombo, the capital, and major social media and messaging services remained blocked by the government.
• Within hours of the bombings, Sri Lankan security services arrested at least 24 suspects, and by Tuesday the number had grown to 40, suggesting the government knew where key members of Thowheeth Jama’ath could be found. The group was under surveillance, and the authorities had learned as far back as January that radical Islamists possibly tied to the group had stockpiled weapons and detonators.
• A forensic analysis of body parts found that most of the attacks had been carried out by lone bombers, but that two men had attacked the Shangri-La Hotel in Colombo.
• The leader of National Thowheeth Jama’ath, Mohammed Zaharan, is a known extremist who has spent time in both India and Sri Lanka, and who in recent years has preached hateful messages online.
· 国家一神教团头目穆罕默德·扎赫兰(Mohammed Zaharan)是已知的极端主义分子，他曾在印度和斯里兰卡居留，近年来曾在网上宣扬仇恨讯息。
• One of the suicide bombers was arrested a few months ago on suspicion of having vandalized a statue of Buddha, a highly provocative act in Sri Lanka, a Buddhist-majority island nation in the Indian Ocean.
• Before the Islamic State made its claim, intelligence and counterterrorism analysts in Washington were scrutinizing possible ties between the militant group and the attackers, but as of Monday afternoon they had not reached any definitive conclusions.
What we know about who was killed and where
• The attacks took place at three churches and three hotels on Sunday morning in three separate cities across the island. Two more explosions happened in the afternoon in and around Colombo, one at a small guesthouse and the other at what was the suspects’ apparent safe house. Three officers searching for the attackers were killed in that blast.
• The deadliest of the explosions appeared to be at St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, about 20 miles north of Colombo, where at least 104 were killed.
·伤亡最多的爆炸应该是科伦坡以北约20英里的尼甘布的圣塞巴斯蒂安教堂(St. Sebastian’s Church)，至少有104人丧生。
• At least 28 people were killed at the Zion Church in Batticaloa, on the other side of the island on its eastern coast. St. Anthony’s Shrine, a Roman Catholic church in Colombo, was also attacked with an unknown number of dead. Witnesses described “a river of blood” there.
• In addition to the Shangri-La, the Cinnamon Grand and the Kingsbury hotels, also in Colombo, were attacked.
• At least 38 of the dead were foreigners, several of them American, the authorities said. Others were British, Chinese, Dutch, Indian, Portuguese, Japanese and Turkish citizens, according to officials and news reports.
What we don’t know about the attacks
• How two small, obscure groups — one of which was previously best known for desecrating Buddhist statues — managed to pull off sophisticated, coordinated attacks.
• The extent to which the Islamic State or another international terrorist network, or networks, helped with the attacks.
• The names of the suicide bombers and the 24 people being held in connection with the attacks.
• Why Catholics appear to have been singled out in the bombings in a Buddhist-majority nation with a sizable Hindu minority.
• Why the authorities failed to take substantial steps to try to prevent an attack after receiving reports of an imminent threat.
• What the effect of the failure to stop the attacks will have on Sri Lanka’s government; the president and prime minister were already engaged in a bitter feud.