Same group killed foreigners, bloggers; sent tweets from Bangladesh: Expert, detectives say

Italian Cesare Tavella was shot dead here inside the diplomatic zone on Sept 28. File photo

Italian Cesare Tavella was shot dead here inside the diplomatic zone on Sept 28.

They claim tweets in the name of Islamic State or al-Qaeda claiming credits for the killings were also sent from Bangladesh.

Tanvir Hasan Zoha, who oversees the ICT Division’s cyber security project, says they have uncovered ‘electronic evidence’ of communication between the killers.

“The tweet claiming responsibility for the Italian man’s killing was sent from Gulshan using a corporate internet connection of a readymade garment business house,” he said. “We’ve collected the ISP’s address.”

Zoha, who is assisting detectives in their investigations, said the Twitter Inc authorities have been informed.

Italian aid worker Cesare Tavella was gunned down at Dhaka’s diplomatic heart on Sept 28 while Japanese Kunio Hoshi was killed in similar fashion five days later in Rangpur.

Militant threat observer portal ‘SITE Intelligence Group’ reported IS claimed credit for the murders, triggering fresh discussion on the possibility of militant operations in Bangladesh.

The government has rejected the reports and blamed the BNP and its ally Jamaat-e-Islami for the incidents.

Slain Japanese Kunio Hoshi and Italian Cesare Tavella seen in this undated file photo.

Slain Japanese Kunio Hoshi and Italian Cesare Tavella seen in this undated file photo.

Indian intelligence officials say they suspect the Jamaat for the killings aimed at destabilising Bangladesh when several of its top leaders are on death row for war crimes.

Zoha said those who tweeted in the name of IS are ‘self-proclaimed’ members of the militant group.

“They collect fund from various Saudi businesses and keep in touch with Syria,” he said.

However, investigators are yet to identify the persons who sent the tweet.

Between February and August this year, four blog activists – Avijit Roy, Oyasiqur Rahman Babu,Ananta Bijoy Das and Niladri Chatterjee – were hacked to death.

Police arrested several suspected members of banned militant outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team last August and said they believed the same group was behind all four incidents.

Investigators are yet to make headway into the killing of foreigners that drew much condemnation. Several countries have asked their nationals to limit their movement despite the government’s assurance of adequate security for foreigners.

When asked, Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Additional Deputy Commissioner Mahfuzul Islam said, “We are investigating who issued the statements over the killing and their motive.

“We’re also probing whether the Jamaat or [Islami Chhatra] Shibir (Jamaat’s studnt wing) are involved.”

Cyber security expert Zoha said investigators had questioned a man from Gulshan over the IS’s statement claiming credit for Tavella’s killing. But the man was not arrested.

ADC Islam dodged a direct reply saying they had questioned many after the foreigners’ killings.

“We can’t say anything for sure until we’re certain,” he said.

(From left) slain bloggers Avijit Roy, Oysiqur Rahman Babu, Ananta Bijoy Das and Niladri Chatterjee. They were killed between February and August 2015. File photo

(From left) slain bloggers Avijit Roy, Oysiqur Rahman Babu, Ananta Bijoy Das and Niladri Chatterjee. They were killed between February and August 2015. File photo

Zoha, who worked with ‘electronic evidence’, said: “The identical pattern in the killing of bloggers and foreigners led us to assume that the killers belonged to the same group.

“They carried out the murders under different guises, be it IS, al-Qaeda, Ansarullah Bangla Team or Jamaat-Shibir.”

Suspects, arrested over Sylhet’s Ananta Bijoy Das murder, had ‘links’ with the killing of Italian Tavella at Gulshan, he claimed.

A media statement issued in the name of ‘Ansar Al Islam’, a self-styled branch of Al-Qaeda in Indian Sub-continent, claiming responsibility for blogger Niladri Chaterjee’s murder, was uploaded from Chittagong Satkania, Zoha added.

The statement after blogger Babu’s killing was sent from Chittagong’s Hathazari, he further said.

Detectives declined comment on Zoha’s claim that Chatterjee’s killers had been identified.

Investigation officer Zihad Hasan told bdnews24.com that several teams of detectives were working on the case.

“They have made headway but we can’t divulge information at the moment,” he added.

Source: Bd news24

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here