Officials revealed that nine attackers, including a woman, detonated the explosives on Easter Sunday which killed at least 359
ONE of the depraved Sri Lankan suicide bombers studied in the UK before returning to the Asian country to commit mass murder, a government minister said.
Officials added that the twisted ISIS extremist also studied a post-graduate degree in Australia but did not reveal his name.
In a news conference, State Minister of Defence Ruwan Wijewardene said: “We believe that one of the suicide bombers studied in the UK and later did his postgraduate studies in Australia.”
Authorities said that there were nine suicide bombers including a woman who murdered at least 359 people on Easter Sunday.
And in an astonishing revelation, Mr Wijewardene said that top intelligence officials deliberately hid information on the attacks and security chiefs did not take action.
The minister also said the horrific attacks must have been planned for at least seven or eight years.
Yesterday, ISIS released a picture which it claims shows seven of the terrorists alongside the mastermind who co-ordinated the horrific massacre.
The image was released by the Amaq news agency — the death cult’s propaganda unit — and is said to show extremist cleric Zahran Hashim.
WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR:
- At least 359 people killed and 500 injured after seven suicide bombers attacked three churches, four hotels and a block of flats in Sri Lanka
- Thirty-nine foreigners were killed including eight Brits, ‘several’ Americans, one Dutch, one Chinese, two Turkish, three Danes and one Portuguese national
- Attack carried out by nine suicide bomers, including a woman, while 40 suspects have been arrested
- Authorities name local Islamic terror group National Thowheeth Jama’ath as being responsible for the attacks saying they were helped by ‘international network’ of jihadis
- ISIS claims the suicide bombers were ‘soldiers of the Islamic State’
Hashim is seen with men in the picture who are all seen standing in front of an ISIS flag.Amaq news agency claimed that the terrorists involved in the attacks were “fighters of the Islamic State”.
In an earlier statement, the extremists said: “The perpetrators of the attack that targeted nationals of the countries of the coalitions and Christians in Sri Lanka before yesterday are fighters from the Islamic State.”
On Monday, the Sri Lankan government named local terror group National Thowheeth Jama’ath as being responsible for carrying out the horrific attacks with the help of an “international network” of Jihadis.
Earlier it emerged that an unverified video posted to social media claimed an ISIS-affiliated group was behind the attacks.
ISIS-linked group posts disturbing video claiming responsibility for Sri Lanka bombings
The video, purportedly from Al Ghuraba Media, run by supporters of the terror group, featured the chilling message: “This bloody day is our reward to you.”
It also showed photos of three of the alleged suicide bombers.
The men are named as Abul Barra, Abul Mukhtar and Abu Ubaida and appear in front of a black ISIS flag giving a one-finger salute.
While the bombings in Sri Lanka have all the hallmarks of an ISIS attack, the terror group has falsely claimed responsibility for atrocities in the past which were in fact carried out by deranged lone wolves.
But cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday that the sick jihadi bombers were helped by an “international network” of terrorists to plan the coordinated assaults.
“We do not believe these attacks were carried out by a group of people who were confined to this country,” Senaratne said.
“There was an international network without which these attacks could not have succeeded.”
In recent years, Sri Lanka has seen at least 32 depraved ISIS soldiers returning to their country following the collapse of their so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq.
However, it is not clear if any of these men were involved in the Easter Sunday bombings.
It also emerged today that a Syrian national was being held in custody in relation to the attacks – one of around 40 suspects detained since the massacres.
Another sinister revelation was the sickening motive behind the depraved mass murder.
Sri Lanka’s state minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene told parliament today that the bombings were “carried out in retaliation” for the terrorist shootings at two mosques in Christchurch in March.
He said early findings in the ongoing investigation into the bombings showed that Islamic terror group National Thowfeek Jamaath were motivated by the events in New Zealand.
On March 15, 50 Muslim worshippers were gunned down by disturbed white supremacist Brenton Tarrant in the Kiwi city.
Sri Lanka’s Deputy Defence Minister says one of the Easter Sunday bombers had studied in the UK and Australia
Moment ‘Sri Lankan suicide bomber walks into church with his device in backpack’ seconds before detonating it killing dozens.
The Sun Newspaper