Police in Bangladesh have arrested a prominent Islamic cleric, Moulana Fariduddin Masud, in connection with a series of nearly simultaneous bombings. More than four-hundred small explosive devices were detonated in nearly every district of Bangladesh. Two people, including a ten-year-old boy, were killed and more than one-hundred others were wounded.
More than one-hundred-fifty suspects in the attacks have been detained. Moulana Fariduddin Masud is a former director of Bangladesh's state-run Islamic Foundation. He has established several Islamic charities. Bangladesh authorities suspect that some of these organizations may have links to the banned Jamaat-ul-Mujahedin group. Leaflets bearing the group’s name and calling for Islamic rule in Bangladesh were found at the some of the blast sites. Police are searching for Abdur Rahman, leader of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahedin group and a major suspect in the attacks.
"Bangladesh is a moderate Muslim country and there is no scope for practicing extremism in the name of Islam," said Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack commented on the bombings:
"We extend our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives and wish a speedy recovery to those who were injured. We stand with the government and the people of Bangladesh as they work to hold to account those responsible for this heinous crime."
Terrorism threatens everyone. The United States stands with Bangladesh at this difficult moment and hopes that a vigorous investigation will result in the culprits being brought to justice.
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.