Bangladesh arrests suspect in killing of American blogger

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Bangladesh arrests suspect in killing of American blogger
Bangladeshis on Sunday paid tribute to an American critic of religious extremism killed in Dhaka, in the latest of a series of attacks on writers who support free thinking values in the Muslim-majority nation. Avijit Roy, a U.S. citizen of Bangladeshi origin, was hacked to death by machete-wielding assailants on Thursday after a book fair, sparking widespread condemnation from home and abroad.
Members of Bangladesh’s Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) force escort Farabi Shafiur Rahman, center, a suspect in the murder of an American blogger Avijit Roy, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Monday, March 2, 2015. Bangladesh security officials say they have arrested a leading suspect in the hacking death of Roy who wrote against religious extremism. (AP Photo/Suvra Kanti Das)
A Bangladeshi activist sets up a light on a poster displaying a portrait of Avijit Roy as others gather during a protest against the Roy in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. Roy, a prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger known for speaking out against religious extremism was hacked to death as he walked through Bangladesh's capital with his wife, police said Friday. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
Police forensics investigate the scene where US blogger of Bangladeshi origin was hacked to death by unidentified assailants in Dhaka on February 27, 2015. Avijit Roy, founder of Mukto-Mona (Free-mind) blog site which champions liberal secular writing in the Muslim majority nation, suffered machete blows to the head. Police have launched a probe and recovered the machetes used in the attack on Roy, said to be around 40, but refused to say whether Islamist militants were behind the incident. AFP PHOTO/Munir uz ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Members of Bangladesh’s Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) force escort Farabi Shafiur Rahman, center, a suspect in the murder of an American blogger Avijit Roy, during his presentation to the media in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Monday, March 2, 2015. Bangladesh security officials say they have arrested a leading suspect in the hacking death of Roy who wrote against religious extremism. (AP Photo/Suvra Kanti Das)
In this Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, photo , Rafida Ahmed, wife of a prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger, Avijit Raoy is being rushed to hospital on a stretcher after she was seriously injured by unidentified attackers, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Roy, who was known for speaking out against religious fundamentalism was hacked to death in the streets of Bangladesh's capital as he walked with his wife, police said Friday. (AP Photo/Rajib Dhar)
In this Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015, photo, Bangladeshi policemen investigate at the site of attack on Avijit Roy, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Roy, a prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger, known for speaking out against religious fundamentalism was hacked to death in the streets of Bangladesh's capital as he walked with his wife, police said Friday. (AP Photo/Rajib Dhar)
Forensics police investigates the site where US blogger of Bangladeshi origin hacked to death in Dhaka on February 27, 2015. Avijit Roy, founder of Mukto-Mona (Free-mind) blog site which champions liberal secular writing in the Muslim majority nation, was hacked to death in Dhaka by unidentified assailants, police said, with his family saying the writer had received numerous threats from Islamist militants. AFP PHOTO / MUNIR UZ ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Atheist blogger who championed liberal secularism hacked to death in Bangladesh http://t.co/GnSWHO7ZSe http://t.co/FPOzfq1JJZ
Indian people put candles onto a fence as they protest against the killing of Avijit Roy, a prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger, in Kolkata, India, Sunday, March 1, 2015. Roy, known for speaking out against religious extremism was hacked to death Thursday night as he walked through Bangladesh's capital with his wife, police said Friday. (AP Photo/ Bikas Das)
Bangladeshi social activists participate in a rally to protest against the killing of Avijit Roy, a prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, March 1, 2015. Roy, known for speaking out against religious extremism was hacked to death Thursday night as he walked through Bangladesh's capital with his wife, police said Friday.(AP Photo/ Suvra Kanti Das)
A Bangladeshi child holds a torch as he participates in a protest against the killing of Avijit Roy, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. Roy, a prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger known for speaking out against religious extremism was hacked to death as he walked through Bangladesh's capital with his wife, police said Friday. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
A Bangladeshi man holds a flower to pay tribute to Avijit Roy, a prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, March 1, 2015. Roy, known for speaking out against religious extremism was hacked to death Thursday night as he walked through Bangladesh's capital with his wife, police said Friday.(AP Photo/ Suvra Kanti Das)
Father Ajay Roy, right, stands beside the coffin of Avijit Roy, a prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sunday, March 1, 2015. Roy, known for speaking out against religious extremism was hacked to death Thursday night as he walked through Bangladesh's capital with his wife, police said Friday.(AP Photo/ Suvra Kanti Das)
Bangladeshi social activists shout slogans as they participate in a torch rally held to protest against the killing of Avijit Roy, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. Roy, a prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger known for speaking out against religious extremism was hacked to death as he walked through Bangladesh's capital with his wife, police said Friday. (AP Photo/A.M. Ahad)
A Bangladeshi social activist puts up a black ribbon on his dress as a protest against killing of Avijit Roy, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Friday, Feb. 27, 2015. Roy, a prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger, known for speaking out against religious fundamentalism was hacked to death in the streets of Bangladesh's capital as he walked with his wife, police said Friday. (AP Photo/ A.M. Ahad)
U.S. Citizen Avijit Roy was killed by unidentified attackers Thursday in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
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DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) - Bangladeshi security officials arrested a suspect Monday in the killing of an American writer who was a prominent critic of extremist Islam and was hacked to death last week as he walked with his wife in Dhaka, a government spokesman said.

The arrest of Farabi Shafiur Rahman came four days after attackers wielding meat cleavers killed Avijit Roy, an outspoken atheist and critic of the intertwining of religion and politics, on a crowded sidewalk in the capital, said Mufti Mahmud Khan, a spokesman for the anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion.

Roy, a Bangladesh-born engineer with American citizenship, was killed on a visit from Georgia in the United States to attend Dhaka's main book fair. He and his wife, Rafida Ahmed, were attacked after leaving the fair. Ahmed was seriously injured.

Rahman, a Muslim blogger who denounced atheism, had threatened Roy in Facebook postings, Khan said, quoting him as writing: "Avijit Roy lives in America, so it's not possible to kill him right now. But he will be killed when he comes back."

Rahman had been arrested previously for threatening an imam who performed funeral prayers for another atheist Bangladeshi blogger killed in 2013. He was released on bail after six months in jail.

While Rahman acknowledged making the threats, Khan said, authorities refused to say if they believed he was one of the attackers.

"He has admitted that he threatened Avijit but we are not sharing more information with you for the sake of the investigation. We need to ask him more," Khan said.

The Bangladesh government has accepted a U.S. offer of FBI help in the investigation of the killing, according to Foreign Minister A.H. Mahmood Ali.

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