The Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), an Islamic terrorist group based in Bangladesh, has published an extensive hit list consisting of non-Muslim writers, activists, and other leaders not only residing in their home country, but around the world.
ABT is most prominently known for its killings of several non-Muslim bloggers over the past few years. The group was officially banned in the country in May of this year.
The group’s hit list includes nine UK bloggers and two from the United States. It also includes seven German nationals and one Swedish individual, according to The Guardian, which reports that the list was recently posted online.
A common theme among those who made it on the hit list is that they have been vocally critical of Islam, the report states.
The Ansarullah Bangla Team shares the militant Islamic ideology of Al Qaeda, the Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium (TRAC) has found. The group remains deeply influenced and committed to the principles preached by deceased Al Qaeda propagandist Anwar Al Awlaki.
ABT, which consists of members in their 20s, preaches its extremist ideology and incites jihadist sentiments in mosques throughout the country, the Dhaka Tribune, a Bangladeshi paper, has reported.
Ananya Azad, a Bangladeshi blogger now living in Europe, told The Guardian regarding his inclusion on the list: “Our weapon is [the] pen, and we can use it without hurting anybody. We just want to make people conscious about their rights. So that nobody can use them to fulfill bad intentions.”
“I can’t say that I am fully safe, as the fundamentalists know where I am residing. I can’t say what will happen in future, but I can give you this assurance that I will write until the end of my life,” Azad added.
ABT has demanded that the citizenship of critics of Islam be taken away immediately.
“Cancel the Bangladeshi citizenship of enemies of Islam and [Muslim religious] education, atheists, apostates, unbelievers, anti-Islamic … bloggers, agents of India … otherwise they will be killed wherever they can be found in the Almighty’s world,” the statement said.
Almost 90% of Bangladesh follows the Sunni branch of Islam. About 9% follow Hinduism, and the remaining 1% is split between Buddhists and Christians, according to estimates.