On Wednesday, police stated that a pizza chef that was killed during the attack at a popular café in Dhaka last week was likely working with the assailants.
Last Friday, in one of the most deadly attacks to ever occur in Bangladesh, at least five men stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery. The café is a known hot spot for those traveling from out of the country, including businessmen and diplomats. In total, 20 customers lost their lives. Those who died were of varying nationalities, including Italians, Indians, and Americans.
According to Monirul Islam, the chief of counter-terrorism police, during the 12 hour hostage situation the pizza chef, Saiful Islam Chowkidar, was apparently seen “moving and running” with the five gunmen, but carried no firearms, himself.
According to Reuters, Islam was quoted as saying that,
“At one point they (militants) tried to escape. They came out running and started firing, the chef was with them… He is a suspect member of this group.”
However, Chowkidar is not the only employee of the café that is believed to have been working with assailants. Police have stated that two other suspects, a delivery man and one of the kitchen staff, are being treated in hospital.
The attack is the latest in a string of violent attacks to occur in Bangladesh, as al Qaeda and the Islamic State increase their hold on the region. However, the Bangladeshi government maintains that the violence is not the result of an outside group, but, rather, is homegrown.
In an effort to reconcile these competing claims, the police have speculated that the attack was done by Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) — a domestic terrorist group that has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.