- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 21, 2019

Sri Lankan officials were reportedly warned earlier this month that a Muslim jihad group planned to attack Christian churches on Easter Sunday.

According to Agence France-Presse, Pujuth Jayasundara, the island nation’s chief of police, issued an intelligence alert 10 days ago, warning about National Thowheeth Jama’ath,

“A foreign intelligence agency has reported that the NTJ is planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian high commission in Colombo,” the April 11 alert reportedly said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, from NTJ or anyone else, and Sri Lankan officials did not officially assign specific blame Sunday.

However authorities have at least 13 suspects in custody and Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardena described the bombings, which killed more than 200 people, as suicide attacks by a single group of religious extremists, though he did not specify.

Christians and Muslims each are less than 10 percent of Sri Lanka’s population, which is mostly Buddhist. The country ended a decades-long civil war 10 years ago, but the protagonists were the central government and a breakaway militia based on the Tamil ethnic group, which is mostly Hindu.

SEE ALSO: Easter Sunday blasts kill at least 207 in Sri Lanka

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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