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.
Daily Mail 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. Ilham, 36, Fatima and their children lived with his parents and other relatives. Ilham is thought to have blown up the Shangri-La Hotel, killing British lawyer Ben Nicholson’s wife Anita, 42, son Alex, 14, and daughter Annabel, 11.
It comes as 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. Inshaf had reportedly checked into the hotel the previous night using a fake name and claiming to be on a business trip.
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.
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.
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.
In the video below, the alleged ISIS terrorist bombers pledge allegiance to Allah before the attacks. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks on its news outlet yesterday as it emerged at least one suspect travelled Syria to join the terror group before returning.
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.