Al Qaeda learnt from LTTE: Sri Lankan minister (Lead)

September 23rd, 2008 - 8:01 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Sep 23 (IANS) The latest devastating suicide bombing in Pakistan shows that Al Qaeda has learnt bomb making from the Tamil Tigers, says a visiting Sri Lankan minister.”The Pakistani bomb is very similar in style to Colombo’s Central Bank truck bomb (of 1996),” said Foreign Employment Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, who is also Sri Lanka’s military spokesperson.

Rambukwella told a press conference Monday that the massive bomb that killed 53 people at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad Saturday showed Al Qaeda learnt the technology from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

Both the bombs — the one in Marriott and the other in Colombo’s Central Bank — were powerful and laden in trucks driven by suicide bombers. The Colombo attack killed 91 people.

Rambukwella said terrorist groups constantly exchange technologies and he quoted anti-terror experts as saying that “suicide jackets” used by Al Qaeda may have been developed by the LTTE.

The Sri Lankan minister also made the extraordinary claim that some Western politicians were on the “payroll of the LTTE”.

“One reason for the support of terrorism of the LTTE is the large number of Tamil voters available in certain Western world electorates that arouse political aspirations for politicians.

“The other reason is some Western world politicians are corrupt and are on the payroll of the LTTE,” he said.

Even more extraordinarily, the press spokesperson for the Sri Lankan High Commission said Rambukwella made his comments in the context of “certain pro-LTTE elements” bringing “anti-Sri Lanka propaganda to the Labour Party convention in Manchester”.

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