Kerry of­fers BD FBI help as po­lice probe at­tack­ers’ links

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION -

DHAKA—US Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry has of­fered Bangladeshi Prime Min­is­ter Sheikh Hasina help to in­ves­ti­gate those be­hind the killing of 20 peo­ple at a Dhaka restau­rant, as po­lice ex­am­ine how the young, af­flu­ent and ed­u­cated at­tack­ers were rad­i­calised.

Po­lice have said all six gun­men killed in Fri­day’s at­tack, un­prece­dented in Bangladesh for its scale and bru­tal­ity, were locals, leav­ing au­thor­i­ties rat­tled by the ap­par­ent spread of ex­trem­ist ide­ol­ogy in a coun­try un­til re­cently viewed as a rel­a­tively sta­ble sec­u­lar democ­racy.

The mil­i­tant Is­lamic State (IS) group has claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tack and posted pic­tures of five grin­ning fight­ers in front of a black flag who it said were in­volved in the at­tack.

Home Min­is­ter Asaduz­za­man Khan re­jected those claims, blam­ing Ja­maat-ulMu­jahideen Bangladesh (JMB), a lo­cal mil­i­tant group which claims to rep­re­sent IS but has no proven links.

Kerry spoke to Hasina on the tele­phone and of­fered FBI help in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“The Sec­re­tary (Kerry) en­cour­aged the gov­ern­ment of Bangladesh to con­duct its in­ves­ti­ga­tion in ac­cor­dance with the high­est in­ter­na­tional stan­dards and of­fered im­me­di­ate as­sis­tance from US law enforcement, in­clud­ing the FBI,” U.S. State Depart­ment spokesman John Kirby said in a state­ment. Khan told Reuters in an in­ter­view that home-grown mil­i­tants re­spon­si­ble for a wave of killings against in­di­vid­ual mem­bers of mi­nor­ity groups in the past year and a half were to blame.—Reuters

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