Arrested wife of UK-educated Sri Lanka suicide bomber says ‘he went to prayers and never came back’ after keeping jihadi life a secret

Arrested wife of UK-educated Sri Lanka suicide bomber says ‘he went to prayers and never came back’ after keeping jihadi life a secret

THE wife of a UK-educated Sri Lanka suicide bomber has spoken of her shock at discovering he was a secret jihadi maniac.

Father-of-four Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed, 36, kept even his closest family in the dark about his twisted Islamist beliefs, they claimed.




And he blew himself up in the Easter Sunday bloodbath which killed at least 359 innocents without saying goodbye or leaving a farewell note.

British intelligence chiefs were last night investigating fears he was radicalised during his spell studying aerospace at Kingston University in South West London.

In 2015, then prime minister David Cameron “named and shamed” Kingston among four universities which he alleged had hosted the most events with extremist speakers.

Cameron’s blast followed a shock study by the Government’s newly established Extremism Analysis Unit – and was denied by Kingston at the time.

Mohamed’s distraught wife Shifana – claimed to shun radical Islam and refuse to wear a Burka – was in police custody over the atrocities today along with more than 30 suspects.

The fluent English-speaking former biology student told family members she was stunned to learn her husband had joined the plot to blitz hotels and churches.

Shifana – who wept as she was dragged away from her three sons aged six and seven, her daughter, three, and six-month-old baby boy – told a relative: "I had no idea until the police turned up at my door – I was in complete shock.


WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR:

  • At least 359 people killed and 500 injured after nine suicide bombers attacked three churches, four hotels and a block of flats in Sri Lanka
  • Thirty-nine foreigners were killed including eight Brits, 'several' Americans, one Dutch, one Chinese, two Turkish, three Danes and one Portuguese national
  • 40 suspects have been arrested
  • Authorities name local Islamic terror group National Thowheeth Jama'ath as being responsible for the attacks saying they were helped by 'international network' of jihadis
  • ISIS claims the suicide bombers were 'soldiers of the Islamic State'

LEFT FOR PRAYERS AND NEVER RETURNED

"He was a loving father to our four children and he just went off as usual for Friday prayers and never came back.

"He has left his young children behind. It is hard to take in what he has done."

Shaking his head in disbelief at the wealthy family’s home Colombo’s Wellampitiya suburb, Shifana’s 57-year-old father said: "He has betrayed his faith and his family. My daughter fell in love with him 10 years ago when he rented a room at my home but I can honestly say I wish she’d never laid eyes on him.

"He was a quiet, secretive man with no friends who would say 'mind your own business' when even close family like me asked him about himself.

"He seemed wealthy and provided for his family but even I had no idea what he did for a living or where he went for days on end.

"I had no clue that he was becoming more obsessed with religion until he started growing his beard long about two years ago.

"The odd thing is that he was very caring and kind to his kids – the kids he has now left without a father. He has left us devastated. He went off as if he was going to work but never came back. He did not leave a suicide note."

Family sources revealed Mohamed’s wealthy tea business owner father Abdul paid £23,000 to send him to Kingston University and a post-graduate course in Melbourne, Australia.

Like the most of the nine-strong terror cell which wiped out Easter worshippers and hotel guests – including eight Brits – he was from a privileged background.

His family noticed he spent hours on his laptop in recent years, but believed he was wrapped up in business dealings.

'RADICALISED ABROAD'

The extravagantly bearded dad's first child was born in Australia and he spent so much time in western countries he insisted his family spoke only English on his return to Colombo.

His father-in-law – who asked not to be identified – added: "It was becoming a problem because the children couldn’t speak sinhala or tamil even though they were growing up here – only English. He was influenced by his time away."

Records showed Mohamed's course was linked to "AAC Sri Lanka" while he studied at Kingston from 2006-07 which is believed to be a pilot training academy.

His millionaire father was said to be "enormously proud" at being able to afford to send the brightest of his six children to study in London.

But the University of Kingston was said to have been plagued by Islamist rabble-rousers including one caught spouting hate at the time.

Guest speaker Shakeel Begg told the uni’s Islamic Society in October 2006 he backed insurgencies in Chechnya, Iraq, Israel and Palestine declaring: "This is not terrorism. This is courage this is good the person is defending himself and his family and his womenfolk and his land and this is something which is good.

"You want to make jihad? Very good."

It was unclear whether Mohamed attended the meeting and Kingston declined to comment on his time there.

His sister Samsul Hidaya said he was highly educated but became increasingly withdrawn as he descended into extremism.

She said: "My brother became deeply, deeply religious while he was in Australia. He was normal when he went to study in Britain, and normal when he came back.

"But after he did his postgraduate in Australia, he came back to Sri Lanka a different man."

Pictures emerged yesterday of Mohamed when he was a fresh-faced boy of around 12 skylarking with his family on holiday and cuddling a possum at a zoo.



 



 

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