Sri Lankan security to increase on anniversary of bombings

Sri Lanka will deploy security forces across the country today on the second anniversary of a fatal suicide bombing. The

Sri Lanka security bombings

Photo: Manish Swarup/ AP

Sri Lanka will deploy security forces across the country today on the second anniversary of a fatal suicide bombing.

The bombings, which marked the most brutal attacks in the country since the end of its 26-year civil war in 2009, targeted churches and luxury hotels. Shortly after the incident, the Islamic State (ISIL), in cooperation with a local Islamist group, claimed the attacks.

The attacks, coming only weeks after former US president Donald Trump announced ISIL’ defeat in Syria and Iraq, indicated a tactical shift for the group. Its expansion to South Asia marked the group’s attempt to offset losses in territories it formerly governed in the Middle East. This shift from roughly 2017 and onward saw ISIL spread itself thin across a wider geography while relying heavily on local allies and suicide bombings.

Today, though the ISIL is seemingly on the decline in the Middle East, the group has surged in Africa, where a record number of attacks have been carried out by local allies. The risk for ISIL attacks across non-Muslim countries, especially those with pre-existing Islamic militia presence, remains. However, considering Sri Lanka’s well-publicised security buildup ahead of today, any move from ISIL or its affiliates is unlikely.

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