It has been reported that several suspects have been arrested by Sri Lankan police in connection with the crimes against humanity committed throughout the country by a yet unnamed terrorist organisation. The following can help the authorities to determine who and what was behind the wicked attacks.
1. The dialect and vernacular of the suspects
In several terror attacks in India that were blamed on Pakistan, the suspects in question did not have a grasp on the Urdu language nor other official/indigenous languages of Pakistan. There have even been some cases where supposedly Pakistani born men accused of terror plots in India quite obviously spoke in a vernacular native to India rather than Pakistan.
In the case of Sri Lanka, whether the suspects are Sri Lankan or foreign, it is important that it is publicly confirmed that they speak the language and or dialect of the ethno-linguistic and/or geographical group to which they supposedly belong.
In the instance of cover-ups or false flag attacks within south Asia, discrepancies in languages, accents and dialects are important to thoroughly investigate so as to determine whether an apprehended alleged terrorist is who and what he claims to be or is initially suspected of being.
2. Examine the bodies of the terrorists
There have likewise been instances primarily in India where terror attacks were blamed on either Pakistanis or Indian Muslims whilst there has been strong evidence to suggest that the attackers were anything but Muslims or Pakistanis. There has been testimony from individuals who examined the bodies of various terrorists in India who were allegedly Pakistani Muslims, which reported that the suspects were not circumcised. Within south Asia’s diverse religious makeup, the only group that is universally circumcised is Muslim males.
Hence, if the terrorists in question (living suspects or dead bodies) are not circumcised, it can be assured that anyone trying to call the attack an Islamist terror incident is not being sincere.
3. Politicisation of the attacks
During the 2008 attacks in Mumbai (aka Bombay), the Indian authorities alluded to Pakistani culprits whilst the incident continued to unfold. Thus far, Sri Lankan authorities have avoided public inferences or open speculation as to the ethnic, religious, political or national origin of the terrorists.
In the coming hours and days, the words of Sri Lankan and regional authorities should be examined carefully to see if any major figures are trying to sow a narrative that politicises the event before the hard facts are known.
4. Who benefits?
Both regionally and in terms of Sri Lanka’s recently heated internal political rivalries, one must consider who will benefit from the tragedy or who could otherwise exploit the situation for personal/political gain. If the attack was (as I personally suspect) conducted by resurgent LTTE terrorists, the atrocities are indicative of the fact that ten years after LTTE’s defeat, the group is again active.
As LTTE had been eliminated within Sri Lanka, one must examine what the group’s supporters have been up to in countries where they have knowingly congregated over the last ten years. Beyond this, if the attack was sponsored by a foreign state, one must examine which state seeks to gain the most.
India first backed LTTE in its long war against Sri Lanka. However, when India withdrew its support, LTTE assassinated Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Since the mid-1990s, elements of India’s intelligence agency RAW rekindled ties with LTTE in an attempt to better manipulate the balance of power in the region. Similar tactics have been employed by RAW in Pakistan’s Balochistan province.
At a time when Sri Lanka is maintaining good and expanding relations with China and Pakistan alike in spite of internal political rivalries, India could stand to benefit by effectively punishing Sri Lanka for drawing close to China. Under such a possible scenario, India may well have backed revivalist LTTE elements in order to carry out a dastardly deed.
In spite of who committed the atrocity, known Islamophobes have already decided who the culprit is. Here too, India’s ruling BJP stands to benefit by pinning the attack on Sri Lanka’s very small Muslim minority as a means of beating the drumming of Hindutva jingoism during the ongoing election process in India.
Most terrorists are on drugs during and even prior to their attacks. At this point in history, the narcotic captagon is the terrorist’s drug of choice. Other drugs including multiple varieties of meth and cocaine are also popular among terrorists.
The places where the terrorists were lodging prior to the attack should be forensically examined for all traces of drugs. Authorities should then work to trace the origins of the narcotics so as to see if they can be linked to known drug cartels or trafficking syndicates.
There will be multiple questions that the peace loving Sri Lankan people will be asking on this tragic day. The big five issues above will help to address at least some of these questions.