On April 23, 2019, two days after the Easter Sunday attacks, the Islamic State claimed that the coordinated bombings in Sri Lanka were carried out by ISIS fighters.
ISIS also released the names of seven attackers:
1. Abu ‘Ubaida
2. Abu Al-Mukhtar
3. Abu Khalil
4. Abu Hamza
5. Abu Al-Bara’
6. Abu Muhammad
7. Abu Abdallah.
Later, ISIS published a photograph of eight men, seven of whom are masked.
The one who is not masked is believed to be Abu ‘Ubaida aka Abu ‘Ubaida Al-Saylani aka Zahran Hashim, a preacher from the National Tawheed Jamaat of Sri Lanka.
A day before the claim by ISIS, the Sri Lankan government blamed the National Tawheed Jamaat for carrying out the attacks. On April 22, Sri Lankan minister Rajitha Senaratne said: “There had been several warnings from foreign intelligence agencies about the impending attacks.”
He added: “We don’t see how a small organization [National Tawheed Jamaat] can do all of this… We are now investigating international support for the group and their other links.”