An Islamic militant group in Bangladesh has issued a hitlist of secular bloggers, writers and activists around the world, saying they will be killed if its demands are not met, the British newspaper The Guardian reports.
The list will raise fears that Islamic militant violence within the unstable south Asian country could take on an international dimension.
The targets in the list include nine bloggers based in the UK, seven in Germany, two in the US, one in Canada and one in Sweden. Some are Bangladeshi citizens living overseas. Others are dual nationals or citizens of the western nations.
The list was issued in a statement on the internet by the Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), a group that has been blamed for a series of murders of bloggers and activists in Bangladesh over the last 18 months. All those killed have been prominent critics of extremist religious doctrines, especially in Islam.
The statement featured a logo comprising a black flag carrying the seal of the prophet Muhammad, often favoured by extremist groups, and the phrase: “We do not forget, we do not forgive” in English.
It is unclear if the ABT has the capability to carry out their threats, but its call for action may prompt individuals to mount “lone wolf” attacks.
Officials suspect the ABT is close to the Ansar ul-Islam organisation, which is part of al-Qaida in south Asiaand launched by the extremist organisation about a year ago.
Individuals on the new list have told the Guardian they intend to keep writing and blogging.
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