Dhaka: Bangladesh yesterday blamed “home-grown” Islamist terrorists and Pakistan’s spy agency ISI for the country’s worst terror attack in which 20 hostages were hacked to death, ruling out the role of the ISIS, as the shocked nation began observing two days of national mourning.

ISIS claimed responsibility for the killing of the hostages during an 11-hour siege that ended on Saturday at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka’s posh Gulshan area, after the army stormed the bakery, killing six attackers and capturing one alive. Pic/AFP
ISIS claimed responsibility for the killing of the hostages during an 11-hour siege that ended on Saturday at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka’s posh Gulshan area, after the army stormed the bakery, killing six attackers and capturing one alive. Pic/AFP

“Let me clear it again, there are no ISIS or al-Qaeda presence or existence in Bangladesh...the hostage-takers were all home-grown terrorists not members of ISIS or any other international Islamist outfits,” said Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan.

“We know them (hostage-takers) along with their ancestors, they all grew here in Bangladesh...they belong to homegrown outfits like JMB (Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh),” he said.

Hossain Toufique Imam, the political advisor to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, said that the way in which the hostages were killed with machetes suggests the role of a local terrorist group, the banned Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen. “Pakistan’s ISI and Jamaat connection is well known... they want to derail the current government,” Imam told a TV channel.