Suicide bomber pats a child on the head... then blows himself up in a church: Chilling video emerges
Chilling CCTV footage captured one of the Sri Lankan Easter Sunday suicide bombers patting a little girl on the head moments before launching an attack.
The terrorist can be seen sauntering towards St Sebastian's Church in Negombo while wearing a large backpack containing a 'crude device made locally' that was used to massacre Christian worshippers.
The Archbishop of Colombo, Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, said at least 110 people died in the St Sebastian's blast, the deadliest in a series of attacks against churches and luxury hotels that killed 321 people in total and left more than 500 injured.
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It comes as all seven of the suicide bombers who carried out the devastating Sri Lanka Easter Sunday bombings were pictured together in an image released by ISIS, which has claimed responsibility for the atrocity.
ISIS's news agency Amaq posted a picture on Twitter claiming to identify the seven attackers as Abu Ubayda, Abu al-Mukhtar, Abu Khalil, Abu Hamza, Abu al-Bara'a, Abu Muhammad, and Abu Abdullah. It shows them standing in front of an ISIS flag wearing black robes and masks over their faces while carrying knives.
Video shows them holding their hands in a stack and pledging allegiance to ISIS boss Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. A total of eight people can be seen in the photo and video, despite the Amaq statement mentioning seven bombers.
ISIS's Amaq news agency released an image on Tuesday showing the jihadis who carried out the devastating bomb attacks last week. Despite the Amaq statement mentioning seven terrorists, eight people can clearly be seen in the photo. Pictured centre is purported National Thowfeek Jamaath leader Moulvi Zahran Hashim
Earlier today, state minister of defence Ruwan Wijewardene told parliament that preliminary investigations suggested the co-ordinated blasts were 'in retaliation for the attack against Muslims in Christchurch'.
White supremacist Brenton Tarrant allegedly slaughtered 50 people at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on March 15 while live-streaming the shooting on Facebook.
It is believed the clip shows the attacker touching Dilip Fernando's granddaughter, who said yesterday: 'At the end of the mass [my family] saw one young man go into the church in with a heavy bag. He touched my granddaughter's head on the way past. It was the bomber.'
ISIS's AMAQ propaganda agency said earlier today that it was responsible for the blasts. The group, who have previously made a series of unsupported claims, did not provide any evidence.
Cinnamon Grand hotels in the capital.
Wijewardene blamed two different local Islamist groups for the co-ordinated suicide bombings which killed at least 321 people, including 45 children on Sunday - but Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe admitted today there may be 'some links' with ISIS.
The National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ), who were the subject of an intelligence warning ten days before the devastating blasts, have been named as responsible, raising questions about why more precautions were not taken.
Images being circulated by ISIS fanatics reportedly show the suspected leader of the National Thowheed Jamaath, Moulvi Zahran Hashim, pledging allegiance to the so-called Islamic State. The source of the pictures is unclear and they were not released through official ISIS channels.
Wijewardene also named another local group, Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen India (JMI). Little is known about JMI, other than reports it was established last year and is affiliated to a similarly named group in Bangladesh.
The news comes as it was claimed two sons of a wealthy spice trader played a key role in the Easter Sunday bomb attacks, blowing themselves up as guests queued for breakfast at the Shangri-La and
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My view: This is so barbaric, I think people with backpacks should be randomly checked on the streets, just like they stop and search for knives. It is heartbreaking to see those people in their place of worship just minutes before they were brutally murdered.
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