By the time the dust settled in Dhaka’s diplomatic quarter on Saturday, the Islamic State (IS) had already claimed responsibility for the gruesome attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery — an establishment which was reportedly popular with the city’s expat community.
In the wake of the carnage, the Bangladesh government was quick to deny the IS’ claimed involvement in the attack, which left 20 hostages and six terrorists dead.
Instead, the country’s home minister, Asaduzzaman Khan, categorically denied any presence of the IS or Al-Qaeda on Bangladeshi soil and held “home-grown terrorists” responsible for the attack.
In particular, the minister blamed the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JmB) for the attack.
Bangladesh Prime Minister’s adviser on international affairs Gowher Rizvi also spoke along similar lines, laying the blame squarely at the feet of the JmB.
Despite these statements, chilling photographs of five of the seven attackers emerged, showing the smiling young men holding assault rifles, with the IS flag in the background.