Two of the assassins who blew themselves up in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday are said to be sons of a respected businessman. This is reported by the "New York Times", the news agency Reuters and Indian media.
Police detained Mohammed Yusuf I, one of the country's richest spice merchants. According to Reuters, one of the attackers is his son Inshaf I., the 33-year-old owner of a copper factory. His younger brother, Ilham I., was therefore also one of the suicide bombers of Easter Sunday.
At least seven Sri Lankan suicide bombers had blown up on Easter Sunday almost simultaneously in three churches in several cities and three luxury hotels in the capital Colombo. Several hours later there were two more explosions in a small hotel and residential area in suburban Colombo. Another attack on a five-star hotel failed. The number of deaths was 359, according to police from Wednesday.
Authorities take several dozen suspects into custody
The terrorist militia "Islamic State" (IS) has claimed the suicide bombing for itself. The authenticity of the message could not be checked independently. Sri Lanka's authorities blame a local Islamist group that has had foreign aid. In the government's estimate, the acts were intended as retaliation for the attack on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March.
On the night of Thursday, the police arrested another 16 suspects in connection with the attacks. In total, there are now 76 suspects in custody, according to recent information from the authorities. In addition, several vehicles were confiscated and new safety precautions were issued, including a ban on drones. The local investigators are supported by specially arrived teams of the US Federal Police FBI and Interpol.
Relatives mourn for one of the victims of the terror
The entrepreneur I. is currently being questioned. His older son Inshaf blew himself up, according to Reuters at the breakfast buffet of one of the luxury hotels. The news agency relies on a source close to the family.
On the question of where the younger son, Ilham I., carried out his attack, the reports differ. According to Reuters, the 31-year-old detonated a bomb during a police raid on his family's villa, killing himself, his wife and three children. Again, the news agency relies on the same source from the family environment.
The New York Times, on the other hand, reports that Ilham I was one of the assassins who attacked churches and hotels. On the other hand, during the raid on the family mansion, a woman was blown up, killing two of her children and several policemen. The woman is most likely the wife of one of the two brothers, the newspaper reports, citing an unnamed Indian official. India's intelligence agencies had warned authorities in Sri Lanka of possible impending attacks.
Most of the attackers grew up in privileged circumstances
Sri Lanka's authorities have hitherto withheld information about the identity of the attackers. They point out that this could hamper their ongoing investigations. The Minister of Defense of the country recently announced, however, that the majority of the assassins was formed and families of the middle or upper class came from.
Mohammed Yusuf I is a figure celebrated in Sri Lankan business circles with good political contacts. One of the country's parties, according to The New York Times, planned to nominate the spice merchant for a post in parliament, but did not win enough seats in the election.
It is unclear what role the businessman plays in the investigation. Also, it is not yet known if he knew about the activities of his sons. One of the leaders of the party that I. wanted to nominate, speculated to the New York Times that I probably knew nothing: "There are things that sons do that fathers know nothing about."Keywords: