What the Sri Lanka Bombings Tell Us About the State of ISIS
On Tuesday, the Islamic State (also known as IS or ISIS) confirmed what the world already suspected when it claimed responsibility for Sunday’s devastating blasts across Sri Lanka, which killed over 300 and injured over 500. Breaking two days of silence on the attacks at the official level, ISIS is now outpouring with content on the matter.
A communique, released shortly after an initial report of responsibility by ISIS news agency ‘Amaq, was heavy in detail, identifying seven attackers and which locations each of them struck across churches, hotels, and housing in Sri Lanka’s Batticaloa, Colombo, Dematagoda, and Negombo areas. ‘Amaq released a video minutes after of the attackers pledging to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi together, led by suspected attack “mastermind” Moulvi Zahran Hashim.
The attacks—and ISIS’ response—provide a troubling demonstration of how ISIS’ global network is adapting to its losses in Iraq and Syria, how its media machine thrives amid those setbacks, and how the group is willing to adjust its own playbook to justify an attack.