Three suspects were arrested in Bangladesh on Saturday but it’s not clear if they were arrested specifically on suspicion of involvement in the murder of Avijit Roy or for Islamism in general.
Three suspected Islamists were on Saturday arrested in Bangladesh in a pre-dawn raid, as authorities intensified a crackdown on extremists following the brutal killing of American blogger Avijit Roy in the capital.
Acting on a tip-off, elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) conducted a pre-dawn raid at a five-storey building in the northeastern port city of Chittagong and arrested three suspected militants.
“We have seized 30 grenades…it appears they (militants) could have made some 300-400 bombs with the explosives we found at the den,” RAB’s commanding officer in Chittagong Lt Col Mista Uddin told reporters in a primary briefing.
Were the police just giving the explosives a pass until yesterday? That seems hard to believe.
A bio-engineer and naturalised US citizen, Roy also earned a repute of being a writer. He was in Dhaka to attend Bangladesh’s annual February or Ekushey Book Fair in memory of 1952 Language Movement martyrs.
Roy’s family and friends said Islamist radicals had been threatening him in recent weeks because he maintained a blog ‘Mukto-mona’ or ‘Freemind’ that highlighted humanist and rationalist ideas and condemned religious extremism.
“They (Islamists) are behind the murder of my son,” Roy’s octogenarian father famous physicist Ajay Roy earlier said after coming out of a police station filing a murder case.
Doctors who carried out the autopsy on the body said professionals appeared to have carried out the murder as they struck three blows “very expertly and with ferocity” on Roy’s head, causing his death from profuse bleeding.
Police said they were investigating the involvement of Ansarullah Bangla Team, an Islamist extremist group based in Bangladesh, that claimed responsibility for the murder.