Hailing from a wealthy family and having high education is not something that one immediately associates with terrorists and suicide bombers. But the terrorists who unleashed the carnage in Sri Lanka on Easter Day is an exemption. Most of them came from affluent families and were highly qualified.
Inshaf Ibrahim and his brother Ilham Ibrahim, two suicide bombers who were involved in the attacks on Sunday were the sons of a wealthy spice tycoon.
Inshaf blew himself up at the Cinnamon Grand, while Ilham did the same at the nearby Shangri-La Hotel.
The family had everything that one could wish for in a lifetime – a thriving business, a mansion, a fleet of fancy cars and other luxuries.
Their father Yoonus Ibrahim was a well-respected man within and outside the community and was the trustee of the local mosque.
But when the news surfaced that Inshaf and Ilham blew themselves up the neighbors were left shell shocked.
He was famous in the area for helping the poor with food and money. It’s unthinkable his children could have done that,” neighbour Fathima Fazla said.
What is even more shocking is that when the police raided the family home, Ilham’s pregnant wife blew herself up killing her and three children. While Yoonus has been arrested for interrogation, the third son of him, Ismail is said to have fled.
It was not immediately clear how the family that lived in absolute luxury strayed into the path of religious extremism and become suicide bombers.
According to reports Ilham was known to have openly expressed extremist ideologies and was involved in meetings of National Thowheed Jamath. However, his brother, Inshaf, was said to be outwardly more moderate in his views, and was known to be generous with donations to his staff and struggling local households.