Dhaka (AsiaNews) - Bangladesh’s’ anti-terrorist unit, the Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), have arrested the instigator of the murders of Avijit Roy and Ananta Bijoy Das, two of the four bloggers killed this year. Two other men, suspected of being the perpetrators of the killings, have also been arrested. All three are active members of the Ansarullah Bangla Team, an Islamic extremist group outlawed by the government in recent months.
The instigator of the murders is a British citizen of Bangladeshi origin, 58 year old Touhidur Rahman. The killers are Mithhu Sadeque Ali, 28, accused of killing both bloggers, and Aminul Mallik, 35, who provided false passports to the others to flee the country.
Commander Mufti Mahmud, director RAB legal and media relations, said that after the arrest of the head Ansarullah, Tawhidur Rahman managed the finances of the group, in addition to planning the killings.
Special forces tracked Mithhu Sadek Ali, head the extremist group’s online campaigning, and arrested him in yesterday evening in Nilkhet, in the capital. With the information obtained in the first interrogation, it was possible to track down the other two, who have confessed.
For some time Muslim extremists have been targeting free thinkers and democracy activists, justifying their murder because they are "atheists". In 2013, the first blogger to be killed for his ideas "contrary to Islam" was Ahmed Rajib Haider.