1 dead, 3 wounded when gunmen attack a mosque in Bogra, a police official says
ISIS claims responsibility for the shooting in a statement distributed by its supporters
ISIS had claimed an Italian's slaying in Dhaka; police said 4 arrested weren't tied to the group
ISIS says it’s behind a deadly attack on a Shiite mosque in Bangladesh – a claim that, if true, shows the terrorist group’s reach into the South Asian nation.
About 20 people were conducting their evening prayers inside a mosque in Bogra, a district in northern Bangladesh about 125 miles (200 kilometers) northwest of Dhaka, when gunmen burst in Thursday.
At least one person died and three more were wounded before the assailants fled, Bogra police Superintendent Mohammad Asaduzzaman said.
ISIS – a Sunni extremist group that’s taken over vast swaths of Syria and Iraq and has been tied to terror attacks across Asia, Africa and Europe – claimed credit for the attack in a statement distributed online by supporters.
Asaduzzaman said authorities knew of the claim but couldn’t immediately verify it.
Regardless, Thursday’s mosque attack is the latest example in which ISIS has boasted about carrying out violence in Bangladesh.
One such instance came in September, when 51-year-old Italian national Cesare Tavella was shot dead while jogging home in Dhaka after swimming in the American International School’s pool.
A statement from ISIS asserted then that “the soldiers of the Caliphate in Bangladesh” tracked Tavella and then shot him, according to Flashpoint Global Partners, a group that tracks jihadist activity.
“We say to all citizens of the Crusader coalition, you will not be safe in the Muslim lands,” ISIS warned, “and this is just the beginning.”
Weeks later, though, police in the Bangladeshi capital said four Bangladeshi citizens had been arrested in Tavella’s killing. Dhaka police commissioner Muntashirul Islam described these suspects as contract killers hired by a person known as “Big Brother” to kill a foreigner, preferably with “white skin.”
None of these four arrested men or “Big Brother,” who hadn’t been caught as of late October, was believed to have any ties to ISIS, according to Islam.