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Sri Lanka bomber ’studied in UK and Australia’

  • 24 April 2019
  • Author: QT01
  • Number of views: 943
Sri Lanka bomber ’studied in UK and Australia’
One of the attackers behind the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka studied in the UK, officials say, as further details on the bombers emerge.
The country's deputy defence minister said the bomber studied in the UK before doing a course in Australia.
The announcement came after the death toll rose again to 359 on Wednesday, with more than 500 people wounded.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the Islamic State (IS) group may be linked to the blasts.
IS has said it was responsible for the attacks, which targeted churches and high-end hotels, although it has not provided direct evidence of its involvement.
"We believe that one of the suicide bombers studied in the UK and then later on did his postgraduate in Australia before coming back to settle in Sri Lanka," Deputy Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene told a briefing on Wednesday.
UK authorities have been given his name and are investigating who he met prior to the attacks, says the BBC's Security Correspondent Frank Gardner.
Mr Wijewardene said that "most of [the attackers] are well educated and come from... middle or upper middle class" families.
"They are financially quite independent and their families are quite stable financially," he added.
Two of the bombers are reportedly brothers and the sons of a wealthy Colombo spice trader. They detonated their explosives at the Shangri-La and the Cinnamon Grand hotels, police sources told the AFP news agency.
Authorities say they are looking into possible links between the locals who carried out the suicide bombings and the Islamic State group.
The announcement that most of the attackers were "well educated" and "middle class" is not as surprising as it sounds.
Although poverty and lack of opportunities have steered many down a path to terrorism, there are also numerous examples of individuals abandoning a relatively comfortable lifestyle for a violent cause.
Ziad Jarrah, one of the 9/11 attackers who hijacked United Airlines flight 93, came from a privileged Lebanese family. More recently, there have been cases of British jihadists who have worked for the NHS, including doctors.
The late ISIS executioner Mohammed Emwazi, aka 'Jihadi John', attended the University of Westminster in London. And the original co-founder of al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, chose to leave behind a luxurious life in Jeddah to go and fight the Soviets in Afghanistan during the 1980s.
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