On April 7, 2016 a group of people attacked blogger Nazimuddin Samad in Dhaka, hacking him with machetes before shooting him in the head at point-blank range. Samad, a law student and secular activist, was reportedly the latest victim whose name appeared on a “hit list” that Islamic extremists sent to Bangladesh’s Interior Ministry in 2013. The assailants reportedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the greatest) when they attacked Samad.
The al-Qaeda-linked group Ansar al-Islam released a statement saying that its members killed Samad as a “lesson to blasphemers”, citing posts that Samad left on his Facebook page. However, in mid-August, Dhaka police identified a man identified as “Selim”, a top leader of banned militant group the Ansarullah Bangla Team, as the suspected mastermind of a series of attacks, including the attack on Samad.