Easter attack: Update on investigations and suspects

Easter attack: Update on investigations and suspects

Easter attack: Update on investigations and suspects

Written by Staff Writer

29 Apr, 2019 | 10:07 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st): The preacher who led Mohamed Zahran was arrested today (April 29). Zahran is the Easter Sunday attack’s main suspect.

He was arrested during an operation conducted by the Police Terrorist Investigation Unit. According to Police, the preacher had encouraged Mohamed Zahran to carry out the attacks.

During investigations into the suspects behind the terror attacks on Easter Sunday, Police publicised photographs of 6 suspects, seeking assistance from the general public.

The six were;

  • Mohamed Euhaim Shaahid Abdul-Haq
  • Mohamed Euhaim Saadik Abdul-Haq
  • Fathima Latheefa
  • Abdul Kader Fathima Kadiya
  • Pulasthini Rajendran (a.k.a. Sarah)
  • Mohamed Cassim Mohamed Rilwan

Rilwan is believed to be the brother of Mohamed Zahran, the chief suspect. Mohamed Euhaim Shaahid Abdul-Haq and Mohamed Euhaim Saadik Abdul-Haq are also believed to be siblings.

Police assume that Pulasthini Rajendran (a.k.a. Sarah) is suspected to have died in the explosion in Saindamaruthu. According to Fr. U.A. Jesudasa, she had visited his church on the day of the attacks.

Fr. J.A. Jesudasa’s account on the incident is as follows:

“Yesterday the names and faces of 5 of the perpetrators were printed in the newspapers. The last person on the paper article (Sarah) came here on the 21st morning at around 5.40 am. This person entered the church when I opened the doors to the church early in the morning. She watched me pray. She found it difficult to kneel as we do. This person was wearing a long dress and did not even talk to me. After that, she left the premises.

Meanwhile, the Chief Incumbent of the Rajagiriya Jayasekararamaya Viharaya said that a suspect of Sunday’s (April 21) bombings named Fathima Latheefa had visited the temple on the 21st, dressed in white.

Latheefa, one of the wanted suspects, was arrested by the Police Special Task Force while searching a house in Maramba, Mawanella on April 26th.

Meanwhile, investigation teams have focused their attention on the discovery of white coloured women’s clothing items found inside a house in Saindamaruthu, Ampara.

Out of the 9 sets of these white clothing items (purchased from an apparel store in Giriulla), only 5 have been found so far.

Yesterday (April 28), Mohamed Euhaim Shaahid Abdul-Haq and Mohamed Euhaim Saadik Abdul-Haq, two of the suspects named by police were arrested in Nawalapitiya.

The footwear store believed to be owned by the uncle of the two brothers were subjected to a special inspection today (April 29). The two suspects, along with their uncle and a driver, who are currently in police custody were brought to the store for investigations.

Abdul Cader Fathima Kaadiya has been identified as Mohammed Zahran’s wife. She was injured during the explosion in Saindamaruthu and is currently being treated in hospital.

According to police media spokesperson SP Ruwan Gunasekara, Pulasthini Rajendran (a.k.a. Sarah) and Mohammed Cassim Mohammed Rilwan killed themselves in the suicide bombings in Chavalakade, Kalmunai. He added that DNA analysis will be conducted to confirm this.

State of the suspects arrested in connection with the suicide bombings;

  • 44 detained by CID
  • 15 detained by TID

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