By Emily Drooby
Chilling footage shows one of the suspected Sri Lankan suicide bombers as he casually strolls towards St. Sebastian’s church. The suspect slowly makes his way into the building which was packed for Easter Sunday services. Moments later, he allegedly set off a bomb that claimed the lives of over 100 worshipers. Footage shows the destruction left behind by that blast.
The church, one of three targeted during a series of coordinated bombings in Sri Lanka that claimed the lives of 321 people.
Beginning Tuesday, victims were laid to rest.
Attention now focused on the suspects along with why and how these attacks occurred.
ISIS claiming responsibility through their news agency Amaq, even posting a photo purported to be the attackers pledging their allegiance to the terror group. ISIS has made false claims in the past.
Top Sri Lankan officials said the initial investigation suggests the bombings were revenge for another recent attack.
Ruwan Wijewardhana, the Sri Lanka State Defense Minister said, “We have information that this attack is carried out by an radical Islamist group as a retaliation to the attack at the mosque in Christchurch, NZ by an extremist.”
That shooting, left 50 dead at the hands of a white supremacist.
In the Sri Lankan attack, officials believe two different local Islamic radical groups could be involved. Officials reiterating the terror cell or cells could have ties to an international terror group.
Many of the dead are children, including a fifth-grade student from an elite D.C. private school. The blast also killing Dieter Kowalski of Denver, who was in the country on a work trip. His father, Marvin Kowalski, spoke out about the tragic loss, “Only 40 years old. And you never expect that you would outlive your son, so it’s kind of sad having to. I always hoped that I would go first but it didn’t happen that way.”
The Sri Lankan government has been criticized for not acting on advance knowledge they had of the attacks. Their prime minister admitting they could have prevented the wave of bombings if there had not been a breach in communications.