Wealthy brothers and wife behind Sri Lanka terror attacks

The death toll rose to at least 321, including 45 children (Photo: Courtesy)

One of the Sri Lankan suicide bombers was caught on film as he blew up 67 innocent worshippers – as details emerged of the husband and wife terrorists involved in the Easter Sunday massacre.

The extremist was seen casually strolling into St Sebastian church in Negombo, carrying a bomb inside a rucksack.

With callous indifference, he ruffles the hair of a child moments before he unleashes carnage.

A church camera filmed him disappearing in a flash of smoke as he set off a device which sprayed metal all around him, killing anyone in its path.

Witness Dilip Fernando said: “At the end of the mass my family saw one young man go into the church with a heavy bag. He touched my granddaughter’s head on the way past. It was the bomber.”

As the death toll rose to at least 321, including 45 children, it emerged the seven-strong gang included Ilham Ibrahim, wife Fatima and his brother Inshaf.

The men were from an affluent family. Pregnant Fatima blew up herself, her three children and three police officers when their home was raided.

Ilham, 36, targeted the Shangri-La hotel where Briton Ben Nicholson lost wife Anita, 42, son Alex, 14, and daughter Annabel, 11.

The killer’s picture was used in an image released by Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the attacks yesterday.

He was shown wearing a balaclava and clasping a knife.

Islamic State, which claimed responsibility for the attacks yesterday (Photo: Courtesy)

An accomplice, named locally as bomb plot “mastermind” Mouli Zahran Hashim, is believed to have detonated a second device which killed British brother and sister Daniel Linsey, 19, and Amelie, 15.

When police raided the Ibrahims’ home in Dematagoda, Colombo, pregnant Fatima set off a suicide vest, killing her unborn child, three young sons, a police inspector and two constables.

Her husband’s 38-year-old brother Inshaf was the bomber who targeted the Cinammon Grand hotel, according to police sources.

His copper firm, called Colossus on an industrial estate east of Colombo, is believed to have been used as a bomb factory, supplying bolts and screws which filled the suicide vests to cause maximum carnage.

Nine Sri Lankans at the factory, including the manager, were arrested shortly before midnight on Sunday.

They were sleeping in a room with 15 beds, working alongside 23 Indians, and 11 Bangladeshis, who knew nothing about the heinous plans.

The murderous brothers had lived a life of privilege and luxury and the atrocity has shocked their friends and family.

A church camera filmed him disappearing in a flash of smoke as he set off a device (Photo: Courtesy)

Inshaf shared Sh 197 million mansion with his wife and four children – a girl of eight and three boys aged six, four and two – on one of the most exclusive streets in Colombo.

His brother-in-law, Ashkhan Alawdeen, owns the house, and helps to run the family jewelry businesses. Ashkhan said: “When the bombings were going on I was panicking.

“I was in total shock. My brother-in-law said he was going to Zambia on Friday for work and went to the airport with my sister and their four children in a car. When he said goodbye he held her head and said, ‘Be strong’.

“She thought it was a bit strange at the time but didn’t think anything of it because she assumed he was just going on a work trip.

“After that we all went to our parents’ home outside Colombo and were enjoying our weekend when this happened.

“My sister has broken down. This is not something we expect in our family. If I had any inkling about what he was planning to do I would have gone straight to the police.

“My brother-in-law is a psychopath. He deserves to be punished in hell.”

Police have taken laptops and CCTV footage belonging to Inshaf, as teams of officers and sniffer dogs scoured his brother Ilham’s home. A white BMW parked outside was covered in dust from finger print checks.


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