US woman wrongly identified as Sri Lanka attack suspect


Colombo, April 26: The Sri Lankan police which wrongly identified an American Muslim woman as a suspect in the deadly bombings on Easter Sunday has apologised for the goof-up, according to media reports on Friday.
The police on Thursday issued a flyer with the names and photos of six persons — three men and three women — wanted in connection with the attacks that killed 253 people.
On the flyer, a photograph of Amara Majeed was put wrongly by Sri Lankan authorities, identifying her as a suspect linked to the bloodshed.
The name attached to the picture was Abdul Cader Fathima Khadiya – but the picture was of Baltimore-born Majeed, whose parents are from Sri Lanka.
“I have this morning been FALSELY identified by the Sri Lankan government as one of the ISIS Easter attackers in Sri Lanka,” she tweeted.
“What a thing to wake up to!”
Around 253 people died and hundreds were injured in the Sri Lanka attacks, where suicide bombers struck three hotels and three churches.
“This is obviously completely false and frankly, considering that our communities are already greatly afflicted with issues of surveillance, I don’t need more false accusations and scrutiny,” Majeed wrote on Twitter.
“Please stop implicating and associating me with these horrific attacks,” Majeed urged. “And next time, be more diligent about releasing such information that has the potential to deeply violate someone’s family and community.”
Sri Lankan police confirmed the error in a statement, saying “the individual pictured is not wanted for questioning”.
Nine persons are suspected of carrying out the deadly attacks, and dozens have been arrested.
The authorities blamed a local Islamist extremist group, National Thowheed Jamath (NTJ), soon after the blasts but said the bombers must have had outside help.
The Islamic State group said it was behind the attacks but provided no evidence of direct involvement.(PTI)