Eleven Bangladeshi nationals, who were sent back from Sri Lanka yesterday in wake of the April 21 blasts, were working at a factory owned by Inshaf Ibrahim, the man involved in the Shangri-La hotel bombing in Colombo.
After Sri Lanka authorities sealed off the copper factory, the workers including the 11 Bangladeshis were sent back to their respective countries, said Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit Chief Monirul Islam.
They are being interrogated, the CTTC chief said while talking to reporters at his office today.
The 11 Bangladeshis, who went to Sri Lanka with tourist visa, had no work permit and were staying in the country illegally, said Monirul Islam.
All of them, mostly from Tangail, were involved in a low-profile job at the copper factory.
The workers landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka around 11:30am yesterday, said CTTC unit chief.
“They could not give any information in connection with the attacks in Sri Lanka, and even about their factory owner Inshaf Ibrahim as they were low-level workers and had no interaction with their owner,” he said.
Responding to a query whether they have any criminal records, the CTTC chief said, “We did not get any information in this regard but we are scrutinising their profiles.”
They went to Sri Lanka for the sake of their livelihood, he added.
WHO IS INSHAF INRAHIM?
According to Reuters, Inshaf Ibrahim, a 33-year-old copper factory owner, detonated his explosive device at the busy breakfast buffet of the luxury Shangri-La hotel.
When police went later that day to raid the family home, his younger brother Ilham Ibrahim detonated a bomb that killed him, his wife and the couple’s three children, a family source told Reuters, requesting anonymity for fear of reprisals.
What happened on Easter Sunday?
A series of blasts at several churches and luxury hotels in and just outside Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo left at least 253 people dead and several hundreds injured on April 21, on the occasion of Easter Sunday.
It was the nation’s worst violence since a bloody civil war ended a decade ago.
The suicide bomb attacks on three churches and four hotels have exposed an intelligence failure, with accusations that warnings had not been acted on and feuds at the top levels of government had undermined security cooperation.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attacks. It released a video that showed eight men, all but one with their faces covered, standing under a black Islamic State flag and declaring their loyalty to its leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. The government said there were nine suicide bombers, eight of whom had been identified. One was a woman.
The bombings shattered the relative calm that has existed in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka since a civil war against mostly Hindu ethnic Tamil separatists ended 10 years ago.
Sri Lanka’s 22 million people include minority Christians, Muslims and Hindus. Until now, Christians had largely managed to avoid the worst of the island’s conflict and communal tensions.