The Western media usually limit news coverage of Bangladesh to casualties from collapsed buildings, factory fires, cyclones and capsized ferries. In the last several years, coverage has extended to brutal assassinations of “atheist bloggers” and, in the summer of 2016, to the murder of 20 foreigners in a Dhaka restaurant.1
One evening last summer a half dozen young men invaded a popular restaurant in the diplomatic zone of Dhaka. By the next morning government commandos had stormed the restaurant and killed them. During the night the terrorists killed two policemen and the 20 foreigners who had the misfortune to choose this particular restaurant. Seven of the victims were Japanese engineers designing a subway system for Dhaka; nine were Italians involved in the garment sector.
The terrorists were not psychologically disturbed loners; they were from prosperous families, well educated and idealistic. During the night, Nibras Islam, their leader, lectured the restaurant staff. A staff member later reported that Nibras reassured them:
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