COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – Nine suicide bombers from predominantly educated middle-class backgrounds carried out attacks in Sri Lanka that killed more than 350 people on Easter Sunday, the authorities said on Wednesday in the face of continuing terrorist threats with continued arrests.
The bombers, one of whom was a woman, were all Sri Lankans, officials said. However, the authorities continued to investigate whether the Islamic State, which assumed responsibility for coordinated demolitions on Tuesday, had provided more than symbolic support, such as training attackers or building bombs.
He did not mention any of the bombers and did not say whether the leader was Mohammed Zaharan, the head of an obscure Islamist extremist group that the authorities claimed was behind the attacks.
"They are pretty well educated people," Mr. Wijewardene said about the attackers. "We believe that one of the suicide bombers who studied in the UK and later completed his postgraduate degree in Australia before settling in Sri Lanka."
Officials said they were still trying to find out if the attacker refers to the Islamic State, which on Tuesday took responsibility for the bombings. The terrorist group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, released a video in which Zaharan led masked, black-clad disciples as they pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.
The Islamic State has not provided further evidence to support its claim Mr. Wijewardene said the investigators were trying to find out if the group had trained or financed the attacks. He said they had found no evidence that the bombers had traveled to the Middle East to fight for ISIS.
The police said they found a "suspicious bag" in a restaurant in Negombo near St. Sebastian's Church, where around 100 people were killed on Sunday. The bag was destroyed on Wednesday in a controlled explosion.
The bombing took place almost simultaneously on Sunday in three churches and three hotels. In recent days, security near the bomb sites has worsened. The schools were closed until Monday, and the post office demands that items sent by mail be packed in front of workers in post offices.
An Indian security official speaking on the condition of anonymity said that India questioned a man Last year, he was associated with ISIS and said he was inspired by Mr. Zaharan's videos on social media. This intelligence agency launched an investigation into Mr. Zaharan and was part of the context for an April 11 warning sent to the Sri Lankan authorities for possible bomb attacks in the church.
The warning was never forwarded to church officials and Sri Lankan authorities apparently did not file a lawsuit against members of Mr. Zaharan's group despite specific information from the Indians.
At a national address on Tuesday, President Maithripala Sirisena attempted to reject the criticisms for which he was at least partially responsible for the security flaw. He admitted that "there was an intelligence report on the attack," but said he was being undercover "not informed".
Shiral Lakthilaka, his senior adviser, said the security crash would lead to layoffs. "Positions of the secretary of the Ministry of Defense and the Inspector General of Police are positions that are intended for dismissal," he said.
But many legislators rejected allegations that the president did not know about the threat of the threat. The outbreak was supposed to go all the way up.
Sarath Fonseka, a Member of Parliament who was in Sri Lanka's army in the last phase of the civil war, told Parliament on Wednesday he knew as well as the citizen the Memo intelligence chief. He said it was "obvious that the letter to the President would have gone. "
Many mourners on Wednesday focused their anger on the government and security forces as grief turned to rage. All morning long, people gathered near the St. Sebastian Church in Negombo to mourn the deceased.
In the place of a mass burial, a desperate woman could not stop crying and shouting at the police. She accused her of not responding to the previous warnings of the attacks.