News Item Daily News, 25 April 2019,
The explosive triacetone triperoxide, dubbed ‘Mother of Satan’ by Al Qaeda for its destructive power, which was supposedly used in Sunday’s attacks, was allegedly made in a copper factory owned by one of the suicide bombers. The factory in Wellampitiya belonged to ‘calm and devout’ Inshaf Ahamad, who is understood to have blown himself up at the Cinnamon Grand, the UK’s Daily Mail Online reported.
Inshaf’s brother-in-law said the businessman drove a brand-new white Land Cruiser and came from a middle-class background. Speaking to MailOnline, Ashkhan Alamdeen (29) said he had brought shame on their family. “They have ruined our family and taken the lives of hundreds of people from all over the world,” Alamdeen said. “We had no idea what they were planning. If we had, we would have immediately told the police.”
Inshaf is said to have attacked the Cinnamon Grand hotel, while his brother Ilham targetted the Shangri-La. Their father, a successful spice trader, was arrested at the family home after bombs went off at the family home, killing three police officers.
Alamdeen went on: “We feel no emotion apart from anger. Pure anger. They were successful men with everything to live for.” He said his sister, Inshaf’s wife, was ‘living in a dream world’ following the massacre. “She can’t believe it really happened. She is in great psychological pain.”
After obtaining the material for the bomb, Inshaf, a father-of-four in his mid-30s, told his wife that he was going to Zambia on a business trip, Alamdeen said. She dropped him off at the airport on Friday for a 6:50 pm flight. They had been married for 10 years. “It was not a normal goodbye,” Alamdeen recalled. “My sister said he seemed shifty. He was tapping his neck and acting strangely. Then out of the blue he told her to be strong.”
The terrorist, who had eight siblings, phoned his wife one last time at 7:30 am on Sunday, an hour before the attack, to say his final goodbyes. “He told her that he was in Zambia and everything was fine,” Alamdeen said. “Then an hour later he was dead.”
Inshaf’s copper factory was raided last night by police, who took nine suspects into custody, including the manager, supervisor and technician.
The investigation is ongoing, but detectives believe the location was used to build the suicide vest using the explosive substance triacetone triperoxide. The substance, a calling card of Islamist terrorists, played a role in both the 2017 Manchester bombing and 2015 Paris Bataclan attacks.
When Mail Online visited the factory, about 11 Indian and Bangladeshi immigrants were there, saying they felt “very nervous.” “The police have come here many times and looked at everything,” said Mohammad Sarowan (25) from Bangladesh. “We have done nothing wrong. We are innocent. They are interested mainly in the Sri Lankans. This factory is our life. We live here and work here and we are paid $150 a month. Now the boss has gone and police are here every day.”
Inshaf never wore traditional Muslim dress, Sarowan said. Tall and lightly bearded, he would come to the factory daily for about 20 minutes and speak only to the manager. “He never allowed anybody to take his photograph and he said it was because of his religious beliefs,” the Bangladeshi migrant said.
A senior police source closely involved with the investigation told the MailOnline that Inshaf’s financial background “doesn’t appear to add up. Where did he get so much money from? That is the question we are asking,” the source said. “The network is so widespread that we are just starting to piece it together. It’s like a cancer that has already spread through the body that we are trying to cure.”
Inshaf’s brother-in-law said he last saw the bomber three days before the attack when he came over for a dinner. “We had a conversation about going camping. There was nothing strange about him at all. He was no more religious than anyone else and was just a perfect guy with everything to live for. His kids are aged eight, six, four and two. Even now, I don’t want to believe it. Who would expect something like this in their family?”
Born in Kandy, Inshaf attended D.S. Senanayake College in Colombo. He lived with his family in an apartment in Dematagoda which blew up when police raided it, killing three officers.