Bangladesh police arrest 3 suspects in bloggers’ murders

(From AP)

Authorities in Bangladesh said Tuesday that they have arrested three men, including a British citizen, for their involvement in the murders of two secular bloggers.

The three are suspected members of the Ansarullah Bangla Team, a banned Islamic militant outfit, said Maj. Maksudul Alam, a spokesman for the country’s Rapid Action Battalion. Bangladesh banned the group in May after police accused its members of threatening and killing bloggers and writers.

Alam said one of the arrested men, Touhidur Rahman — a British citizen of Bangladeshi origin — was the mastermind and financier of the attacks on bloggers Avijit Roy and Ananta Bijoy Das, who were killed earlier this year.

Arrested Ansarullah Bangla Team suspect, Touhidur Rahman

Arrested Ansarullah Bangla Team suspect, Touhidur Rahman

The suspects were arrested Monday night in raids in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital, and appeared with authorities at a news briefing Tuesday.

Mufti Mahmud Khan, the head of the battalion’s media wing, told reporters that while Rahman was the main planner of the killings, another suspect who was arrested, Sadek Ali, acted as a bridge to communicate with Mufti Jasim Rahmani, the alleged head of the militant group. Ali, 28, became involved with Rahmani while working as a printing press worker, Khan said.

Rahmani is currently in jail awaiting trial in the murder of another blogger, Ahmed Rajib Haider, in Dhaka in 2013.

“Ali often visited the prison to meet Rahmani for instructions,” Khan said. Read more

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