Bangladeshi Police Arrest Islamic Radical Suspected of Attacking Publisher of Atheist Books June 16, 2016

Bangladeshi Police Arrest Islamic Radical Suspected of Attacking Publisher of Atheist Books

Last October, 43-year-old Faisal Arefin Dipon was found dead in his Bangladesh office, the latest, it seemed, in a string of attacks by Islamic militants against atheists or those associated with that. Dipon’s “crime” was that the Jagriti Prakashani publishing house he headed up had put out books by atheist author Avijit Roy.

We also learned that, just hours before his death, there was a similar attack at another publishing house. Ahmedur Rashid Tutul (another publisher of Roy’s books) was injured but escaped with his life.

(from L-R) Rafida Ahmed, Ahmed Rashid Tutul, Avijit Roy (via IHEU)

I bring all that up because Bangladeshi police may have found Tutul’s assailant. The police made headlines last week when they rounded up at least 3,000 people (some estimates say 8,000) suspected of being Islamic radicals. One of those suspects has now been charged with carrying out the attack on Tutul:

Mohammed Sumon Hossain, a suspect presented before court Thursday, was suspected of participating in an attack against publisher Ahmed Rashid Tutul in his Dhaka office in October, the head of police counter-terrorism operations told reporters…

[Counter-terrorism chief Monirul] Islam said Hossain used several names while operating as a member of the banned Ansarullah Bangla Team, which has claimed responsibility for killing several atheist bloggers and threatened to target more.

Islam said Hossain provided information to police during questioning that could help in apprehending those who killed another publisher, Faisal Arefin Deepan, on the same day Tutul was attacked.

It’s welcome news. Not just because the attacker has been charged, but because it’s a sign that Bangladeshi police officers are taking this issue seriously. Let’s hope more suspects are charged very soon.

One down. So many more to go…

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