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Attacks in Sri Lanka: Who were the bombers?



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Media Caption The video shows a suspected bomber quietly approaching St. Sebastian's Church

. Two of the nine bombers in Sri Lanka were the sons of a wealthy and well-known man. Spice traders and local police have reported to the BBC.

All but one in nine were identified and most came from middle or upper middle-class families.

British authorities have told the BBC that they think this is high The Islamic State (IS) group was probably linked to the bombings ̵

1; but it remains unclear whether it inspired, planned or directed the attacks.

It is known that 32 Sri Lankan nationals have joined IS in Iraq and Syria.

While the extensive investigation of the Easter Sunday bombings – which hit churches and hotels – killed 359 people continues, we know the suspects here.

Sons of the Spice Merchant

Two of the bombers were the sons of the spice merchant Mohammad Yusuf Ibrahim, who is based in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo.

One of them detonated his explosives in the Shangri La Hotel area while breakfast was served. The other was directed against the restaurant at the nearby high-end Cinnamon Grand Hotel.

Her father has been arrested and is now in custody.

His daughter-in-law exploded in a police raid on the family's villa on Sunday, apparently to avoid arrest.

The attack reportedly killed several people, including children and policemen.

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Caption

Staff and tourists were killed at the Shangri-La Hotel

The wealthy background of the family corresponds to the description of the attackers by the authorities.

"They are financially fairly independent and their families are fairly stable financially," said Deputy Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardene at a press conference on Wednesday. 19659008] Former student

One of the attackers studied in the UK, officials say.

Abdul Latif Jamil Mohammed visited South East England in 2006-7 to study, but did not complete a full degree, a senior Whitehall official told the BBC.

According to reports, he studied aerospace engineering at Kingston University.

Later he studied in Australia before returning to Sri Lanka.

"I can confirm that the suicide bomber has been in Australia," said the country's prime minister, Scott Morrison said Thursday. "They left in the beginning of 2013."

He added, "They also had a spouse and children's visa at the time, but they did not return to the country."

The alleged leader

of Islamist preacher Zahran Hashim, is suspected of being the leader of the bombers. The police do not know if he detonated one of the suicide bombers or is still at large.

An IS video released after the group claimed that it had carried out the attacks seems to show it prominently.

The video allegedly promised allegiance to the leader of the group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Caption

Zahran Hashim was not widely used in Sri Lanka until this week

The British government considers it very likely that the IS was linked to the bombings, although the role of the group is not fully understood, the officials told the BBC.

The Muslim community in Sri Lanka said they had been before the authorities for years before Mr Hashim's attacks.

"This person was a loner and he had radicalized young people," Hilmy Ahamed, vice president of the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, told AFP,

. "Nobody thought these people were able to make an attack of such magnitude," he added.

Mr. Hashim's sister told the BBC, "I only learned about his actions through the media, even for a moment I never thought he would do that."

"I deeply regret what he did Has. Even if he's my brother, I can not accept that. I'm not worried about him anymore. "


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