On April 24th and 25th, the identities of some of the suicide bombers from the Sri Lanka terror attacks were revealed.
ISIS ‘Amaq News Agency, following their statement claiming responsibility for the attacks, published two more statements. The statement says that 1,000 people were killed or injured in the orchestrated assault. That statement highlighted the fact that Christians were the intended target, as they are supposedly at war with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s enterprise. The statement also provides the aliases for several of the bombers.
The third statement included a photograph of the alleged attackers.
Two of them were members of a prominent and wealthy family in Colombo, according to sources cited by CNN.
The brothers, Imsath Ahmed Ibrahim and Ilham Ahmed Ibrahim were two of the suicide bombers. Their father, Mohamed Ibrahim, is the founder of Colombo-based Ishana Exports, which describes itself on its website as the “largest exporter of spices from Sri Lanka since 2006.”
Mohamed Ibrahim was one of the people arrested following the attacks, according to the sources.
At a press conference on April 24th, Sri Lanka’s State Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene said that those responsible for the attacks on Easter Sunday were well educated, from upper-middle class families, and financially independent. That was a “worrying factor,” he said.
British Security forces identified another attacker as Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed, saying that he studied in the southeast of England from 2006 to 2007.
Wijewardene, the state defense minister, said investigators believe one of the bombers had studied in the UK and was a postgraduate student in Australia before returning to Sri Lanka.
Shiral Lakthilaka, an adviser to Sri Lanka’s President, identified one of the men who blew himself up at the Shangri-La hotel as Inshan Seelavan, and described him as the “mastermind” of the attacks.
Other unnamed officials, cited by CNN, claimed that Zahran Hashim was a key figure in the attacks.
Hilmy Ahamed, vice president of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka as well as Reyyaz Salley, chairman of Colombo’s Dewatagaha Mosque, said that they had attempted to warn authorities about Hashim, who could be seen on a photograph and in a video released by ISIS ‘Amaq News Agency.
“We reported him to national intelligence about three years ago,” Ahamed said, adding he had taken DVDs of Hashim’s preachings to show officials. “At the end of 2018, in December, when we had this crisis where some youth damaged Buddhist statues, we went back again to intelligence and gave them all the info we had on him and told them they should try to catch him.”
Separately, Ruwan Gunasekera, Sri Lankan National police spokesperson said that the Criminal Investigation Department had raided 5 safe houses connected with terrorists in the following areas: Negombo, Dehiwala, Sharikamulla Panadura, Colpetty Colombo 3, Wattala.
Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in an interview with CNN said that some of the suspected attackers were under surveillance by the country’s intelligence services. There was not “sufficient” evidence to put the suspected attackers in custody prior to the attacks, Wickremesinghe said.
Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena asked for the resignation of one of the country’s defense ministers Hemasiri Fernando and the Inspector General of the Police Pujith Jayasundara.
The victims of the suicide bombings reached 359 on April 25th. More than 500 were injured.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Terror Attacks In Sri Lanka On Easter Sunday Leave At Least 290 Dead, 500 Injured
- ISIS Claims Responsibility For Sri Lanka Terror Attacks
- Seven Suspects In Sri Lanka Terrorist Attacks Arrested