• Farabi Shafiur RahmanFacebook
  • Avijit Roy with his wife RafidaFacebook

The Bangladeshi security personnel have arrested an Islamist fundamentalist, a prime suspect in the brutal killing of atheist American blogger Avijit Roy. The authorities sprang into action after scores of writers and activists from Bangladesh posted details of the suspect, Farabi Shafiur Rahman, online.

"He is the main suspect" a spokesman for the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) said following Farabi's arrest in the capital Dhaka.

RAB spokesman Major Maksudul Alam told AFP that Farabi is a fundamentalist blogger who was arrested after the family members of the slain writer blamed Farabi for hacking Roy to death.

It is reported that Farabi, on several occasions over Facebook and Twitter, had threatened to kill Avjit Roy. "Roy lives in America. So it's not possible to kill him now. He will be killed as soon as he returns home," Farabi had threatened in 2014.

Local media reports claim that a special unit tasked with tackling religious militancy in the Muslim-majority nation is investigating the case and the unit has landed on a correspondence between Farabi and another person about killing Roy.

The American-Bangladeshi author was hacked with a machete by two unidentified men in downtown Dhaka last Thursday. The slain author's wife, Rafida Ahmed Banna too sustained severe injuries and had two of her fingers chopped off as she tried to save herself from the machete-wielding attackers.

Farabi was previously arrested in 2013 after the murder of atheist blogger Ahmed Rajib Haider; however, he was released soon after.

Avijit Roy was an engineer, who founded the Mukto-Mona (Free-mind) blog, to promote free thinking. He was born in Bangladesh but had been settled in Atlanta, United States for the last 15 years. Roy is the second Bangladeshi atheist blogger to have been murdered in two years and the fourth writer to have been attacked since 2004.