More details have emerged on the Easter Sunday suicide bombers with the Daily Mail releasing the first pictures to be made public of two brothers involved in the attacks.
Wealthy brothers Inshaf and Ilham Ibrahim calmly walked into the luxury Shangri-La and Cinnamon Grand hotels and detonated their vests as guests were eating breakfast.
Their attacks claimed the lives of at least 41 foreigners, including eight British holidaymakers – three of whom were children.
Hours later, as police raided their mansion in an exclusive neighbourhood of Colombo, Ilham’s pregnant wife Fatima blew herself up, killing her three children and three officers.
CCTV footage has revealed the moment one of the bomber brothers, Inshaf, nervously shuffling back and forth before deciding to blow himself up at the Cinnamon Grand hotel.
The footage from a camera in the hotel’s packed Taprobane restaurant shows the bomber hovering just inches away from diners.
Wearing a light shirt, dark baseball cap and a large backpack, the attacker hesitates – shuffling from foot to foot before detonating his suicide vest at 9.12am.
According to the Daily Mail, Inshaf had reportedly checked into the hotel the previous night using a fake name and claiming to be on a business trip.
Earlier, footage revealed that his brother Ilham and an accomplice bomber took a lift to the restaurant of the five-star Shangri-La hotel before blowing themselves up.
Wearing backpacks, the two men appear to discuss their plans in the elevator on the second floor in the final moments before the Easter Sunday massacre.
The bombers then enter the Table One eatery almost unnoticed while hotel guests are having breakfast before he detonates his deadly weapon.
In a split second the plush restaurant becomes a scene of horror as the bomb explodes in a cloud of smoke and bright red flame.
The other brother Inshaf blew himself up at the Cinnamon Grand in the wave of almost simultaneous attacks on Sunday morning.
Another bomb tore through a restaurant at the nearby Kingsbury hotel while similar explosions devastated three churches.
Authorities investigating the attack, which has killed more than 300 people, have described the heavy backpacks worn by the suicide bombers as ‘crude devices made locally’.
Earlier chilling CCTV footage captured one of the suicide bombers patting a little girl on the head moments before he launched his attack at St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo.
The terrorist can be seen sauntering towards St Sebastian’s Church in Negombo while wearing a large backpack containing a ‘crude device made locally’ that was used to massacre Christian worshippers.
It is believed the clip shows the attacker touching the granddaughter of Dilip Fernando, who said: ‘At the end of the mass [my family] saw one young man go into the church in with a heavy bag. He touched my granddaughter’s head on the way past. It was the bomber.’
The Ibrahim brothers were at the centre of the little-known but highly organised Islamic State terror cell which detonated six bombs in hotels and churches across Sri Lanka.
But while the profile of suicide bombers tends to be of poverty-stricken men with criminal backgrounds, the brothers were the sons of millionaire spice trader Yoonus Ibrahim and were privately educated in Colombo.
The pair, who had six other brothers and three sisters, were widely considered to be moderate Muslims who did not hold extreme views.
Their pictures, taken from a UN database, were identified by a senior police source as well as their brother-in-law, Ashkhan Alawdeen, several neighbours and staff at Inshaf’s copper factory.
Inshaf, 38, lived with his wife and their four children – an eight-year-old daughter and three boys aged six, four and two – in a £1.5million six-bed mansion on one of the most exclusive streets in Colombo.
The house, which has its own gym and a fleet of high-end cars, is owned by Inshaf’s brother-in-law Mr Alawdeen, a jewellery trader.
Inshaf was a successful businessman and owned a copper factory thought to be where the suicide bombs were made.
He was described by relatives and employees as affluent, calm and devout.
The father-of-four told his wife that he was flying to Zambia on business on Friday, adding that she should ‘be strong’ before killing himself and multiple others.
Around 100 police officers raided the factory in Wellampitiya, on the outskirts of Colombo on Sunday night. They arrested nine staff, including the manager.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks on its news outlet as it emerged at least one suspect travelled Syria to join the terror group before returning. (Colombo Gazette)