The Al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) chief is among the 12 people that the Bangladeshi security forces arrested from various parts of Dhaka on Wednesday in connection with the killing of Bangladeshi-American blogger Avijit Roy and several other writers and freethinkers.
The series of arrests were made between Wednesday night and Thursday morning, local Dhaka newspapers reported.
Mainul Islam, the AQIS chief coordinator in Bangladesh, and his top adviser Zafar Amin were among the 12, Reuters confirmed.
According to Dhaka Tribune (DT), Mainul used to head Islamic extremist group Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (Huji) in Dhaka before joining AQIS.
Bangaladeshi counter-terrorism force Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) have reportedly recovered huge quantities of explosives, weapons and jihadi material during the raid.
This year alone, three writers and freethinkers in Bangladesh were hacked to death by Islamist extremists.
AQIS, through a video message that was published on 3 May, took responsibilty of the murder of bloggers Avijit Roy, Oyasiqur Rahman Babu, Rajeeb Haider and Rajshahi University teacher AKM Shafiul Islam, DT reported.