Photo Credit: Aamaq News Agency / IS
Alleged Islamic State terrorists who carried out multi-site Easter Sunday suicide bombing attack in Sri Lanka, April 21, 2019

The Islamic State terrorist organization claimed responsibility Tuesday for this week’s horrific series of eight suicide bombings that ripped apart churches, luxury hotels and other sites on Easter Sunday.

The terror group also released images and a video through its Aamaq media agency that allegedly showed the eight bombers prior to the attack, and said the bombings were carried out in revenge for last month’s New Zealand mosque massacres by a white supremacist.

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In the photo, seven of the alleged bombers had their faces covered. Three held knives. The eighth man, whose face was uncovered, had a beard and appeared to carry an assault rifle.

Sri Lanka government officials said the death toll has risen to 321, including 45 children, and there are concerns that figure may still rise more.

Thus far, 40 people have been taken into custody in connection with the attacks, which were blamed on a local radical Islamist group called the National Thowheeth Jama’ath, albeit with foreign terrorist aid.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.