Brit held for Bangladesh bloggers’ deaths

Three suspected militants including a British citizen have been arrested in the killing of two bloggers in Bangladesh, police say.


Touhidul Islam, a leader of a banned radical Islamist group, and two other suspects were arrested in the capital Dhaka, an officer said on Tuesday.

A Bangladeshi with British citizenship, Touhidul Islam is suspected of providing financial support to terrorists, police battalion commander Mufti Mahmud Khan said.

The trio are being investigated in the killing of Bangladeshi-born US writer Avijit Roy, and secular blogger Ananta Bijoy Das.

Khan said a suspect named Sadeq Ali was directly involved in the murder of Roy.

“Ali confessed that four others had carried out the murder, being instructed by one of their leaders,” he said.

At least 14 other members of Islamist groups in Bangladesh have been arrested this year in connection with the violent deaths of bloggers in Bangladesh.

Roy was hacked to death by unidentified assailants on February 26 when he was returning home from a book fair in Dhaka.

Khan said five “militants” met three hours ahead of the killing at a playground near the fair.

“Two of them followed the writer inside the book fair and continued sending information about his location to the other members. Once Roy came out of the fair they attacked him all of a a sudden.”

The Ansar al-Islam radical group, an affiliate of al-Qaeda active in the Indian subcontinent, later claimed responsibility for the murder.

Ananta Bijoy Das, a blogger and science writer, was hacked to death on May 12 in the south-eastern city of Sylhet.

Two other Bangladeshi bloggers were murdered in March and August.