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Bangladesh: investigations after Dhaka attack

Asia @en/BreakingNews @en di

Investigations are continuing in Bangladesh to identify the network that has provided logistical support to the command of terrorists that on Friday night killed 20 civilians, mostly Italian and Japanese nationalities, in a coffee shop in the diplomatic area of ​​the capital Dhaka.

The attack was claimed by the Islamic State, and some photos that show the face of five of the young attackers next to the black flag of Daesh have been disseminated by the local press. The terrorists, according to preliminary reports, would be largely members of the middle class of Dhaka, with a recent past as students at a renowned university in English language in the capital.

Special forces intervened on Saturday morning, after nearly 12 hours of siege, killing six members of the commando and managing to rescue 13 hostages. Five of them are still being held in custody by the authorities, and in recent hours have been questioned by the police to clarify their position. Among them, according to reports from anonymous police sources, there would be a Canadian citizen of Bangladeshi origin and a British citizen born in Bangladesh. The authorities are in the meantime conducting wide-ranging investigations questioning even friends and relatives of the people detained.

The police would like first to clarify the position of a Bengali hostage, trapped with his wife and children in the restaurant during the attack. In some amateur videos taken from the outside of the restaurant, the man is talking to some of the bombers before receiving permission to move away from there with family members. He would be a teacher of a private university in Dhaka, returned to his homeland after 20 years in England. The police suspect that one of the attackers studied in the same department where the professor regularly holds its lessons and wants to verify if the two could be connected in the period prior the massacre.

Initially the police insisted in denying any connection between the command and the networks of international terrorism. After the first claims and dissemination, on sites close to Daesh, of some pictures that seem to portray the Holey Artisan Backery interiors and the scene of the massacre, the police has changed partially line, stating that the ongoing investigations are seeking to determine whether the terrorists have had links with foreign groups, but denied that the attack may have had an outside director.

The investigations have sparked a manhunt against 6 members of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), a local Islamist group, suspected of having collaborated in the organization of the assault and to have played a central role in the process of indoctrination of young terrorists, almost all educated and coming from the middle and high Bengali bourgeoisie. While the police try to locate and stop the six suspects, 130 members of the Islamist organization previously arrested are interrogated by judicial authorities seeking information useful to the investigation.


Luca Marchesini

Luca Marchesini
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