“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.
These were the words of Ashkhan Alawdeen the brother-in-law of Inshaf Ahmed Ibrahim one of the master minds of the suicide bombings that targeted churches and hotels in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo on Easter Sunday, killing at least 359 people.
Inshaf Ahmed Ibrahim, 33, targeted the Cinnamon Grand Hotel restaurant just before 9am local time killing part of at least 41 foreign nationals that lost lives in the bombings. His radical brother Ilham targeted the Shangri-La hotel.
The Ibrahim brothers were sons of a Sri Lankan spice tycoon Mohamed Ibrahim but wealthy businessmen in their own right.
Inshaf owned a copper trading company named Colossus which is at the centre of investigations for playing a role in the making of the bombs. Nine factory workers including the manager have been arrested.
Fatima, Inshaf’s pregnant wife also blew herself up with her unborn child and her three young sons as police tried to raid their family home.