Bangladesh Says It Now Knows Who’s Killing the Bloggers

Jun 8, 2016

By Geeta Anand and Julfikar Ali Manik

The young man, inching past a crowded checkpoint near a truck stand in Bangladesh’s capital, caught the attention of an alert police officer.

His backpack, together with his appearance, from the unshaven beard to the long Punjabi tunic over baggy pants, set off the suspicion that he was an Islamist militant. The man was arrested after he was found to be carrying a machete, an unregistered pistol and six bullets.

The discovery of the weapons raised alarms. For the last three years, atheist writers, freethinkers, foreigners, religious minorities, gay rights activists and others have been terrorized and killed in Bangladesh by shadowy figures who have struck with machetes and sped off on motorbikes.

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4 comments on “Bangladesh Says It Now Knows Who’s Killing the Bloggers

  • @OP link – From the growing number of attackers in detention, the police learned that the newly reconstituted Ansar al-Islam had changed its tactics, now recruiting madrasa students and teachers instead of university students to carry out killings. Mr. Islam said a violent protest by the madrasa students in May 2013 convinced Ansar al-Islam leaders that they were a more promising source of fanatical recruits than their university counterparts.

    The training and indoctrination of the recruits became more rigorous and systematic at that time, Mr. Islam said. The cell that assassinated another blogger, Oyasiqur Rahman Babu, 27, just a month after Mr. Roy’s killing rented an apartment where two senior operatives worked with the group of would-be killers. One, an operations expert, taught them how to kill with a machete and use a pistol to scatter anyone interrupting the attack.

    The “religion of peace” once again!!

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  • The problem with these religious extremists is they believe they have special dispensation to kill other people, but other people have no reciprocal dispensation to kill them. They think they are so goddam special.

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  • It looks like action has been triggered at last! I’m not sure how well targeted it is!

    Bangladesh police say they have detained about 900 people as part of a crackdown on militants following a series of deadly attacks.

    Police launched the week-long campaign on Friday, saying they were focused on arresting Islamist militants.

    About 40 people, including secular bloggers, academics and members of religious minorities, have been killed in attacks in the past few years.

    In the past week, a Hindu priest, a Christian grocer, and the wife of an anti-terror police officer were all killed in attacks by suspected Islamist militants.

    Secular bloggers, academics, gay rights activists, and other members of religious minorities are also among those to have been killed in recent months.

    Police say they have made a list of suspects wanted for more than 40 targeted killings over the past three years, based on intelligence reports.

    However, not all of the 900 people arrested are suspected militants, Shahidur Rahman, Deputy Inspector General of Police, told BBC Bengali.

    “Many of them are suspected for other regular crimes. Police will interrogate them and try to find who is responsible for what,” he said.

    Correspondents say petty criminals may be among those detained as the authorities believe they could have information about the militants. Some of those held are likely to be freed after questioning.

    Analysts say the killing of a police officer’s wife on Sunday may have triggered the crackdown.

    Shahidul Hoque, inspector general of police, vowed on Thursday that those responsible for killing her would be “brought to justice very soon”.

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  • It looks like some progress is being made!

    Police in Bangladesh say they have shot dead the main suspect in the killing of secularist blogger Avijit Roy.

    They say the man, named as Sharif, died in a gun battle with police near the capital Dhaka early on Sunday.

    Police had been seeking information about Sharif and six other militants suspected in the case.

    Avijit Roy, an American-Bangladeshi blogger and writer, was hacked to death by several men as he returned from a Dhaka book fair in February last year.

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