The Bangladeshi wing of the Islamic terrorist group al Qaeda reportedly took responsibility for the latest in a series of murders of atheist writers and bloggers.
Ansar al-Islam, which is linked to al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent, has claimed responsibility for the machete murder of Nazimuddin Samad, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, an organization that monitors jihadist terrorism.
Samad, a student, was brutally murdered last week in the capital city of Dhaka, having been attacked first with machetes and then shot.
"Bangladeshi authorities have previously denied that foreign groups such as al Qaeda or ISIS have taken root in the majority Muslim country," reported CNN.
"Instead, it says the murders of secular writers in the capital, as well as a series of deadly attacks against Hindu, Christian and Shi'ite minority groups across the country, are the work of homegrown extremists."
Over the past year or so, there have been an increasing number of violent attacks against atheist bloggers and writers in the predominantly Islamic Southeast Asian nation.
Other victims include blogger Niloy Neel, killed last August in his home and Avijit Roy, who was murdered last February after leaving an event near the University of Dhaka.
Neel, along with other victims, was on a list of 84 bloggers in Bangladesh that Islamic extremists are targeting through multiple means, according to the BBC.
"It was originally submitted to the government with the aim of having the bloggers arrested and tried for blasphemy. The groups which wanted bloggers arrested told us they have no knowledge of who is behind the killings," reported the BBC last year.
"Bangladesh is officially secular but critics say the government is indifferent to attacks on bloggers by Islamist militants. Two people have been arrested, but no one charged, in connection with this year's killings …"
Abbas Faiz, Amnesty International's Bangladesh Researcher, said in a statement last year that the Bengali government "is not doing enough to protect critics of religious intolerance, or to prosecute their attackers."
"Some of these killings have been claimed by extremists – but they have been facilitated by the official failure to prosecute anyone responsible," stated Faiz.
"The prevalent impunity for all these cases continues to send a message that such attacks are tolerated by the authorities. Ending impunity and ensuring protection for those at risk must be a priority for the Bangladeshi authorities."