Failed Sri Lanka suicide bomber seen next to mother and kids in lift

In the elevator with her children… and a suicide bomber: Mother unwittingly stands next to Sri Lanka terrorist whose bomb failed to go off – before he sits next to diners equally unaware they’ve cheated death

  • Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed was one of eight Sri Lanka suicide attackers
  • Chilling footage shows him in lift of targeted hotel with mother and two children
  • Left hotel after failed attempt – with staff helping him carry case out of the door 
  • It is thought he was supposed to attack the Taj Samudra hotel but his bomb malfunctioned before he blew himself up by accident at a nearby guest house 
  • Mohamed was Sri Lankan but spent time studying in the UK and Australia
  • Source close to his family said he had been on a terror watch list ‘for years’ 

The Sri Lankan suicide bomber who failed to detonate his device on Easter Sunday calmly made his way up to the hotel dining room in a lift with a mother and her two young children.

Chilling CCTV footage from inside the elevator shows the oblivious mother moving her two youngsters out of the way to allow jihadi Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed inside.

The children are stood just inches away from the terrorist and his heavy backpack containing an explosive device.

Mohamed exits the elevator, following the family into the dining room before walking back and forth as he types on his phone.

As he realises the bomb will not detonate, he sits down at a table, removing the backpack before fiddling with it – presumably in the hopes of setting off the explosion.

Chilling CCTV footage shows a mother moving her two young children out of the way to let jihadi Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed into a hotel lift moments before he attempted to set off a bomb

The children are stood just inches away from the terrorist and his heavy backpack containing an explosive device in the clip

Mohamed exits the elevator, following the family into the dining room before walking back and forth as he types on his phone

After leaving the lift, Mohamed was caught on CCTV pacing near guests eating breakfast, before realising the explosive device was not detonating

After several attempts, he gives up and walks out of the hotel – but not before getting his suitcase stuck in a revolving door, at which point staff help him leave.

As he reaches the other side of the door, another employee hands him his other suitcase. 

Mohamed’s target was the breakfast buffet at the Taj Samudra, a luxury hotel on Colombo’s seafront.

Mohamed then sits down at a table before fiddling with his backpack – presumably in the hope of fixing the problem

He puts his backpack back on, typing on his phone once again, before getting up and leaving the dining room

He then left the hotel – but not before two members of hotel staff helped him with his bags after one became stuck in some revolving doors

He took a car away from the hotel. He later accidentally blew himself in the Tropical Inn Hotel in Dehiwala after trying to inspect the faulty bomb

Instead, he ended up detonating his explosive device in a budget motel by the city’s zoo, killing a couple who had arrived only half an hour earlier.

He was the only attacker out of the eight Sri Lankans pledging allegiance to Islamic State who failed to hit his intended target in the attacks.  

Mohamed, 37, was born in Kandy, the sixth child in a tea trading family of seven. 

He was educated at the private Gampola International School in Kandy, a lush hill town in the centre of the country.

The family’s relative wealth allowed him to travel and live abroad. He studied engineering at Kingston University, south west London, for a year in 2006. 

Mohamed, one of eight Sri Lanka suicide attackers, was filmed on CCTV walking into the Tropical Inn guest house where he accidentally blew himself up

Mohamed was born in Sri Lanka but spent a year studying at Kingston University in south west London and also lived in Australia before returning to his home country

He then returned to Sri Lanka, where he married and had his first of four children, before moving to Australia for four years in 2009. It was during this time he became radicalized.

‘He was really angry with the U.S. and its alliance’s attacks in Iraq during his stay in Australia,’ a close friend told Reuters. ‘He was really radicalized and became an extremist when he was in Australia. He returned as a completely changed person.’

Mohamed attempted to travel to Syria in 2014 with a friend, but only got as far as Turkey before turning back for an unknown reason, according to the Sri Lankan intelligence source. 

Returning to Sri Lanka again, he worked with his brother in the family tea business, but his relationship with relatives grew increasingly strained due to his religious views.  

Samsul Hidaya, Mohamed’s sister, said he became radicalised abroad, but the news of the Easter atrocities came as a shock.

‘When the police came to tell us it was him, I almost collapsed,’ Mrs Hidaya said.

‘I just didn’t think he would take it this far. I am still in disbelief. Something happened to him in Australia that changed his personality. He became silent and aloof.’ 

It is thought Mohamed’s bomb malfunctioned as he tried to detonate it at a much larger hotel and that he blew himself up by accident while inspecting it

Mohamed tried to blow up the luxury Taj Samudra hotel (pictured) in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo on Easter Sunday

But he is believed to have botched his attempt to detonate his bomb at the five-star hotel and is thought to have blown himself up by accident at a much smaller guest house (pictured)

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