- The father of two of the suspects in the Sri Lanka Easter Sunday bombings is now in custody, accused of aiding and abetting his sons in the attack.
- Mohammad Yusuf Ibrahim is a wealthy spice trader in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo. His sons Ilham and Imsath are believed to have carried out the bombings of the Shangri-La and Cinnamon Grand hotels on Sunday.
- Authorities have said that when officers showed up at the family’s villa on Sunday, Ibrahim’s daughter-in-law blew herself up, killing herself, her two kids, and three police commandos.
A wealthy Sri Lankan spice trader has been arrested and accused of helping his two sons carry out two of the Easter Sunday bombings in Colombo, officials say.
The police spokesman Rowan Gunasekera told CNN on Thursday that Mohammad Yusuf Ibrahim was in custody along with all other known members of the family in the country. They are among about 70 people who have been arrested in connection to the bombings since Sunday.
Ibrahim is the founder of Ishana Exports, which sells spices like black pepper, white pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and vanilla. According to the company’s website, it has been the “largest exporter of spices from Sri Lanka since 2006.”
Ibrahim’s son Ilham is believed to have carried out the suicide bombing at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel, while Ilham’s brother Imsath is said to have attacked the Shangri-La Hotel. The attacks happened when many families were eating breakfast at the hotels in celebration of Easter. So far, more than 350 people have been pronounced dead in the bombings, which took place at Christian churches and upscale hotels in three cities across the South Asian island.
According to “Good Morning America,” one of the sons ran a copper factory where it’s believed the explosives may have been made.
Investigators were led to the Ibrahim family’s villa on Sunday, but when they arrived a woman believed to be the wife of one of the brothers blew herself up, killing herself, her two kids, and three police commandos, authorities said.
A Sri Lankan government spokesman, Sudarshana Gunawardana, also told CNN on Thursday that Ilham Ibrahim had previously been arrested by the police and then released. It’s unclear when that prior arrest happened, what it was for, or why he was released.
- Read more:
- Sri Lanka has banned drones and is detonating suspicious items around its capital in the aftermath of deadly bombings that killed at least 359 people
- US ambassador to Sri Lanka says the scale of the Easter Sunday attacks suggests bombers may have had foreign support
- Islamic State claims responsibility for Easter bombings in Sri Lanka that left more than 320 dead
- How more than 300 people died in Sri Lanka’s Easter bombings even though the government knew it was coming
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