ISIS Claims Responsibility for Sri Lanka Attacks as Minister Says They Were ‘Retaliation’ for New Zealand

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday that killed more than 320 people. Meanwhile, a Sri Lanka government minister said they were in direct response to the mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand last month. Sri Lankan Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene told the country’s parliament Tuesday that investigations had shown “this attack was carried out in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch,” according to The Guardian. An intelligence memo handed to government officials weeks before the attack shows that one suspect in the bombings updated his social-media accounts “with extremist content” after a right-wing extremist killed 50 Muslim worshippers in Christchurch. Separately, ISIS claimed responsibility Tuesday for the attacks in Sri Lanka, saying via its own news agency that the “perpetrators of the attack... were Islamic State fighters.” The release also claimed the bombings targeted Christians as well as citizens of countries belonging to the coalition fighting ISIS.