Sri Lankan bomber's ties to New Zealand

One of the suicide bombers involved in the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka had family ties to New Zealand.

Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed unsuccessfully targeted guests at the Taj Samudra hotel in Colombo, killing himself in a guest house separate to the main hotel.

Approximately 250 people died at the hands of multiple suicide bombers on Easter Sunday across Sri Lanka.

Mohamed's sister Samsul Hidaya told the Daily Mail the family had links to both Australia and New Zealand.

Mohamed himself did postgraduate study in Australia where, she says, he became radicalised. His first child was also born in Australia.

Meanwhile, his younger sister married a Sri Lankan New Zealander and emigrated to Auckland with their mother. It's not known whether they still reside in New Zealand.

After returning to Sri Lanka from Australia, Mohamed became withdrawn and deeply religious, according to Hidaya.

"He had a long beard and had lost his sense of humour. He became serious and withdrawn and would not even smile at anyone he didn't know, let alone laugh," she told the Daily Mail.

The two siblings became estranged despite living close to each other, though news of his involvement in the bombings still came as a shock to Hidaya.

"I just stopped speaking to him because it got to the point where it was getting out of hand," she said. "I just didn't think he would take it this far. I am still in disbelief."

Mohamed's wife has been taken into police custody in Sri Lanka, and their four children - aged six, four, two and six months - are being cared for by their grandmother.


Contact Newshub with your story tips: