ISIS Claims Presence in Bangladesh, Murder of Japanese Tourist

Ripon Islam/AP
Ripon Islam/AP

The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) claimed its militants murdered a Japanese tourist in northern Bangladesh over the weekend. The murder comes only five days after the radical Islamic group claimed responsibility for the murder of an Italian in Dhaka.

Hoshi Kunio, 65, first visited Bangladesh in 2011. Since then, Kunio traveled to the South Asian country multiple times. Jihadists shot him three times in Rangpur, which is 157 miles north of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. He was visiting the city because “he had invested in a grass cultivation project.” The murderers escaped on a motorbike.

U.S. monitoring organization SITE Intelligence Group said members of ISIS told the world through Twitter it committed the murder.

“The series of security operations against citizens of the Crusaders alliance states will continue,” the person wrote on Twitter.

On September 28, aid worker Cesare Tavella was shot three times at close range as he jogged through Dhaka. SITE reported ISIS “issued a statement later Monday claiming that a ‘security detachment’ had tracked Mr. Tavella through the streets of Dhaka.” But Bangladesh authorities urged people to wait for the investigation before believing ISIS committed the murder.

In mid-September, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina warned British Prime Minister David Cameron the United Kingdom must do more to battle against radical Islam.

“The British government should take more steps on the ground,” she told The Guardian. “Jamaat [-e-Islami (JEI) Bangladesh’s leading Islamist party] has a strong influence in East London. That’s true. They are collecting money, they are sending money,” she said.

Tavella’s death raised suspicions about ISIS and al-Qaeda in Bangladesh. Authorities arrested 12 members of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) in July, including Ayman al-Zawahiri, the chief of the group. AQIS took credit for the numerous murders of bloggers in the country who criticized radical Islamists. A mob hacked to death secular blogger Niloy Chakrabarti, who used the pen name Niloy Neel, in August. Chakrabarti is the fourth blogger murdered by alleged radical Islamists in the republic this year.

These are the five bloggers who were attacked this year:

August 6 – Niloy Chatterjee, blogger, hacked to death at his home in Dhaka.
May 12 – Ananta Bijoy Das, blogger for Mukto-Mona website, killed while on his way to work in the city of Sylhet.
March 30 – Washiqur Rahman Babu, blogger, hacked to death by three men in Dhaka.
February 26 – Avijit Roy, a prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger, killed while walking with his wife outside Dhaka University.

“He was critical against religions and wrote against Islamist, Hindu, Christian and Buddhist fundamentalism,” stated Asif Mohiuddin, a blogger who survived an attack in 2013.


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