Pregnant wife of Sri Lankan suicide bomber detonates bomb as police raid home

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Pregnant wife of Sri Lankan suicide bomber detonates bomb as police raid home

With Sri Lanka already reeling from a series of coordinated bombings, the horror continued Sunday afternoon as police raided the home of Inshaf Ahmed Ibrahim and Ilham Ibrahim, two of the suspected leaders of the plot that killed 359 people.

As police entered the residence, the wife of one of the brothers, Fatima Ibrahim, detonated yet another bomb, killing herself, the child she was pregnant with, three other young children and three Sri Lankan police officers.

Police had established that the two brothers had taken part in the attacks, leading them to raid their family home in Dematagoda, a suburb of Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital.

Inshaf and Ilham Ibrahim are the sons of Mohammed Yusuf Ibrahim, one of Sri Lanka’s most successful spice traders and a frequent political candidate for the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, a leftist party in Sri Lanka.


Inshaf Ibrahim, right, pictured in 2016 at the Sri Lankan business awards with his father, centre, and State Minister Sujeewa Senasinghe.

Daily News

Mohammed Yusuf Ibrahim and Ijaz Ahmed Ibrahim, his youngest son, are being questioned by police, the International Business Times reported.

According to reports, Inshaf was himself a successful businessman, while Ilham was more reserved.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Inshaf had been “brainwashed” by Ilham over the past few years, becoming more overtly religious and intolerant.

A source in the family’s spice business told the newspaper that Inshaf began arguing with less devout Muslim workers about their choice of dress at work.

“Recently he got so close to Ilham and became so deeply religious,” the source said. “Once he got so close to his brother he changed.”

“His language became very isolating towards Muslims who lead a normal life. Ilham is one of the directors of the business but later he stayed at home.

“He was the one who brainwashed Inshaf and took him to their group.”

The source also told the Telegraph that Inshaf had travelled widely in recent years, including to Britain. Indian intelligence sources told the First Post news website that a third son, Ijas, 30, was also reportedly asked about the attack.

Inshaf reportedly told his wife he was flying to Zambia on business on Friday, adding that she should “be strong.” Footage from the Cinnamon Grand emerged yesterday of Inshaf nervously shuffling back and forth — before deciding to blow himself up.

The Telegraph also reported that its reporters had discovered a safe house that the attackers had apparently used to prepare their bombs and plan the attack.

Firstpost.com, an Indian publication, also reported that police were interested in a factory owned buy the Ibrahim family, from which the attackers took materials to build the bombs.

So far, 60 people have been arrested or detained in connection with the bombings, including nine people from the factory owned by the Ibrahim family.

Many perpetrators of the Sunday attacks were well-educated and middle-class or wealthy, Sri Lankan officials said Wednesday. ISIL claimed responsibility for the attack Tuesday, though the Sri Lankan government has blamed the attacks on a local Islamic militant group, National Thowfeek Jamaath.

With files from The Daily Telegraph.

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