US Offers $5 Million Reward For Information On 2015 Murder Of Blogger Avijit Roy


New Delhi: The United States on Monday announced a reward of up to $5 million for information on two absconding convicts in the 2015 murder of writer-blogger Avijit Roy.

The US Department of State announced the reward under its Rewards for Justice programme.

“The Secretary of State has authorised a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction in any country of anyone involved in the murder of Roy and the attack on Ahmed,” the statement said.

“Anyone with information on this incident should text RFJ via Signal, Telegram, or Whatsapp at +1 (202) 702-7843.  All information will be kept strictly confidential,” it further said.

Avijit Roy, a US citizen of Bangladeshi origin, was hacked to death in February 2015 while returning home with his wife from a Dhaka book fair. His wife and fellow blogger Rafida Ahmed suffered head injuries.

“This investigation remains open, and we are seeking information that will assist law enforcement agencies in bringing to justice the perpetrators of this heinous terrorist attack,” the Department of State said.

In February, a Bangladesh court sentenced to death five members of an Islamist militant group for killing Avijit Roy. The court also jailed one man for life.

The six convicts belong to the militant group Ansar Ullah Bangla Team, an affiliate of al-Qaeda in the Indian Sub-continent (AQIS). Two of the convicts — Syed Ziaul Haque, the mastermind behind the killing, and Akram Hussain — were tried in absentia and are absconding.

In 2016, the US designated AQIS as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist group. This allows authorities to sanction terrorists and those who support terrorists or terrorist acts.

Between 2013 and 2016, Bangladesh saw a spate of attacks on bloggers and activists claimed by Islamic State or al-Qaeda-aligned groups.

The deadliest attack took place in July 2016, when gunmen stormed a cafe in Dhaka and killed 22 people, most of them foreigners.

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