Through its Rewards for Justice Program, the U.S. Department of State is offering a reward for up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of anyone involved in the terrorist attack of U.S. citizens Avijit Roy and his wife Rafida Bonya Ahmed.
The attack by unknown assailants wielding machetes took place on February 26, 2015, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The couple was visiting the city to attend a book fair. Avijit Roy was killed in the attack and Rafida Bonya Ahmed was seriously wounded.
Avijit Roy was an author, blogger, and activist who challenged fundamentalism in Bangladesh by advocating for freedom of expression. He coordinated international protests to raise awareness of the plight of imprisoned atheist bloggers in Bangladesh and was a well-known critic of social repression. The Rewards for Justice announcement declared Roy “was targeted and killed for his outspoken beliefs and activism.”
Two groups have claimed responsibility for the attack. One was Ansarullah Bangla Team, or ABT, a Bangladeshi terrorist organization that seeks to radicalize youths to kill those deemed by them to be anti-Islamic. Soon after, the now deceased leader of al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent, or AQIS, posted a widely circulated video claiming that AQIS followers, including those who have yet to be arrested, were responsible.
In 2016, the State Department designated AQIS as a Foreign Terrorist Organization under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224, which provides authority to sanction terrorists and those who support terrorists or terrorist acts.
Since its inception in 1984, the Rewards for Justice Program has paid in excess of $200 million to more than 100 people who have provided actionable information that helped prevent terrorist attacks, bring terrorists to justice, and resolve threats to U.S. security.
If you have information about the terrorist attack on Avijit Roy and Rafida Bonya Ahmed, please text RFJ via Signal, Telegram, or Whatsapp at +1 (202)702-7843. Or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
All information will be kept strictly confidential.