One of our media asks: “Could the bombings in Sri Lanka have been prevented? Government minister says ‘intelligence officers were aware’ of the possible suicide attacks 10 DAYS AGO but failed to warn police”.
That’s unlikely (or damn hard) as anyone who has worked in a guerrilla / discretionary war scenario will tell you.
It’s also damn hard to stop this sort of thing from happening even if you have the names and addresses and eyes on the bad guys 24/7 WAY BEFORE the event and are allowed to act prematurely especially if it doesn’t turn up munitions and only those with hate on their minds. Why so? Because someone else may step in, that’s how some terrorist cells work, one team go down, another steps in.
To that end you have to liken terrorism to a hydra.
Multiple heads all of which have to be killed at the same time (plus their puppies).
Because if you don’t, it will reemerge at a later date.
Even then, it’s often a major manpower, suffering from political interference, and can be a logistical nightmare for any security service.
If bombs being set off is the MO of someone, they will set them off where they want to when they want to as tight security can only continue for a limited time before the worse enemy of security (the general public, politics, and businesses) start to protest your anti-terrorism measures. In short, all they have to do is wait the security services out in the face of heightened tensions.
In this case they chose Easter, but there is also Christmas to consider.
In the West that’s a major trading time so politics and business considerations (let alone the general public) will argue about too much security in their pursuit of making and spending money.
Public and religious holidays and mass gatherings (concerts) are a nightmare for security operations with or without tip offs.
In the comfort of a news desk that’s sometimes not fully understood.