Bangladesh police on Sunday announced
that they have arrested a man in connection with the murder of Xulhaz
Mannan and his friend Tonoy Mahbub.
Mannan, 35, was the editor of
Bangladesh's first and only magazine devoted to the LGBT community.
A gay rights activist, Mannan also worked for the U.S. Agency for
The suspect is a 37-year-old man who
officials identified as Shariful Islan Shihab.
A gang of six people posed as
messengers last month to gain access to Mannan's apartment building
and stab the two men to death.
The killings are part of a wave of
murders targeting atheists, moderates and foreigners in Bangladesh.
According to the
AP, Shihab, who has ties to several militant groups, confessed to
taking part in the killings, saying that it was ordered by his
group's high command.
Al-Qaida has claimed responsibility for
the murders. The group
said that the men became targets because they were “practicing
and promoting homosexuality in Bangladesh … with the help of their
masters, the U.S. crusaders and its Indian allies.”