Bangladesh arrests Islamist leader in connection with death of US blogger

Bangladesh police said yesterday they had arrested a suspected leader of an Islamist group wanted in connection with the death in 2015 a US blogger critical of religious extremism. Deputy police commissioner Masudur Rahman said the man, identified as Mojammel Hossain, 25, head of the intelligence wing of the al Qaeda-inspired militant group Ansar Ullah Bangla Team, was suspected of taking part in the killing of writer Avijit Roy.

Roy, a US citizen of Bangladeshi origin, was hacked to death by machete wielding assailants in February 2015 while returning home with his wife from a Dhaka book fair. Roy’s widow, Rafida Ahmed, was seriously injured. Rahman said Hossain, who was identified after analyzing CCTV footage, was arrested on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka, on Saturday. “Acting on a tip-off, the counter-terrorism police unit arrested him,” he said. In the primary interrogation, he confessed his involvement in the killing of four other secular activists, Rahman said.

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