Bangladesh arrests main suspect in US blogger murder

Bangladesh arrests main suspect in US blogger murder

Bangladeshi security officials today arrested an Islamist fundamentalist suspected to have killed Avijit Roy, a prominent American blogger-writer and critic of religious extremism, who was brutally hacked to death here last week.

Farabi Shafiur Rahman has admitted to making online threats to kill Roy, said officials of the elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) force.

"He confessed of his statements to kill Avijit, which he had made several times," said Commander Mufti Mahmud Khan, director at Legal and Media Wing of RAB.

The arrest was made four days after unidentified assailants killed the 42-year-old blogger, known for his critique of religious extremism, as he walked with his wife in Dhaka, the Dailystar reported.

His wife Rafida Ahmed Bonya was severely wounded in the sensational attack at the Dhaka University campus on Thursday.

Khan said Farabi was arrested from Dhaka's Jatrabari bus stand area this morning.Farabi, a dropout of the Physics department at the Chittagong University, came to limelight over making death threats to an imam who had led blogger Ahmed Rajib Haidar's first funeral prayers.

He was arrested then for making death threats, but was later granted bail.Rajib, an architect and activist of the Shahbagh movement, was murdered near his house at Mirpur in February 2013.

"Avijit's father mentioned Farabi's name as he had threatened to kill his son several times," Khan told reportes. "A year ago Farabi threatened to kill Avijit Roy, one of the founder moderators of a popular blog Mukto-Mona," he said.

"Farabi came in touch with Avijit five years back through the social media site, Facebook. They shared their views on the site. They argued over opinions, and Avijit blocked him," Khan said.

Avijit had been reportedly threatened multiple times by the self-proclaimed Islamist blogger Farabi, the report said. On January 25, last year, Farabi's Facebook status read, "It's a holy duty of Bangalee Muslims to kill Avijit."

Then on February 9, last year, he commented on a Facebook post: "Avijit Roy cannot be killed now. He lives in America."

Roy is the second Bangladeshi writer-blogger to have been killed in two years and the fourth writer to have been attacked since 2004.

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