So-called Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka that killed at least 359 people and has released a propaganda video claiming to show the perpetrators swearing allegiance to IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Identified in the video is Zahran Hashim, leader of Sri Lanka’s radical National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ). Hashim was one of two suicide bombers who attacked Colombo’s Shangri-La hotel.
Sri Lanka’s deputy defence minister, Ruwan Wijewardene, told a press conference in the capital, Colombo, that most of the suicide bombers were “well-educated and come from the middle or upper-middle class,” adding that they were “financially quite independent.” One of the suicide bombers studied at Kingston University in the UK and later in Australia. Wijewardene said that 60 people “have been arrested on possible links to the attacks” and 32 of those are still in custody. Among those assisting police is Mohammed Yusuf Ibrahim, a wealthy businessman and pillar of the Sri Lankan business community, and his son, 30-year-old Ijas Ahmed Ibrahim.