Bangladesh hangs Islamist extremist
PRISON authorities in Bangladesh’s southern city of Khulna have executed a senior Islamist extremist whose banned group has been linked to the murder of foreign hostages.
Asadul Islam, 42, a leader of the outlawed Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), was hanged on October 16 for his role in a 2005 blast that killed two judges.
Bangladesh has blamed the JMB for a July 1 attack on an upmarket Dhaka cafe in which 22 people, mostly foreign hostages, were shot and hacked to death.
Islam, also known as Arif, was one of seven senior JMB officials, including founding leader Shaikh Abdur Rahman, sentenced to death for a bomb attack on a minibus that killed two lower court judges on November 14, 2005.
Six of the men, including Rahman, were executed in March 2007 by a military-backed caretaker government as part of a nationwide crackdown on Islamic extremists.
His execution comes as Bangladeshi security forces push a deadly new crackdown against extremists following the cafe attack that has shaken the image of Bangladesh as a moderate Muslim nation.
Since July, police have shot dead nearly 40 suspected extremists including JMB’s new leader Tamim Chowdhury, a Canadian citizen of Bangladesh descent who allegedly masterminded the cafe carnage. –