Briton arrested over deadly Bangladesh cafe siege

DHAKA: A British national and a student at a Canadian university have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in last month’s deadly siege at a cafe in Bangladesh’s capital, police said Thursday.


Hasnat Karim, a Bangladeshi origin British citizen, and Tahmid Khan, who is a student at the University of Toronto, were detained on Wednesday night, police spokesperson AKM Shahidur Rahman told AFP.

“We can confirm that they were arrested under Section 54 of CrPC (criminal procedure),” Rahman said, referring to a law under which police can detain someone for suspicion over any crime.

Karim and Khan were both inside the Holey Artisan cafe when gunmen raided the premises on the night of July 1, taking a group of mainly Western diners hostage and then killing 20 of them, along with two policemen.

But neither man has been seen in public since the end of the siege when commandos stormed the cafe in Dhaka’s upmarket Gulshan neighbourhood on the morning of July 2.

Their families have previously said that both Karim and Khan were being held by the security services, insisting there is no evidence to link them to the attackers and that they were no more than innocent bystanders.

Police earlier this week named a Canadian citizen called Tamim Chowdhury as the mastermind of the attack, offering a reward of up to $25,000 for any information leading to his arrest.