[JURIST] Bangladeshi authorities announced Tuesday the arrest of three individuals allegedly involved in the murder of two secular bloggers earlier this year. The suspects are Islamic extremists and part of a recently banned armed group called Ansarullah Bangla Team. Mufti Jasim Rahmani, the head of the group, is already serving a sentence [JURIST report] in prison for killing another blogger in 2013. The other two individuals, Touhidur Rahman and Sadek Ali, are believed to have visited [Al Jazeera report] the Rahmani in prison for instruction.
Secular bloggers have been the subject of many attacks [Al Jazeera report] in recent years. Al Jazeera reports that Bangladesh has itself seen at least four deadly attacks since the beginning of 2015. Last year Bangladeshi investigators moved the government [JURIST report] to ban Jamaat-e-Islami party (JI) [party website], the country’s largest Islamist party, after evidence emerged indicating that JI formed armed groups to assist Pakistani forces in the commission of atrocities. In February the International Crimes Tribunal Bangladesh convicted and sentenced [JURIST report] JI leader Abdus Subhan to death. Subhan was charged and convicted of of mass killing, looting and arson during during the 1971 War of Liberation against Pakistan. Subhan is the ninth senior leader of his party to be convicted of war crimes since the tribunal opened in 2010.