Officials at the Malaysian campus of Australia’s Monash University met with local authorities after reports emerged that at least one perpetrator of Friday’s attacks at a cafe in Bangladeshi capital Dhaka was a student at the university. Police in Bangladesh released photos of the five attackers who laid siege to the Holey Artisan Bakery, killing 20 captives.
“The University has not received, nor seen, any official confirmation from authorities as to the identity of the attackers, only media reports and social media discussions. Today Monash University Malaysia met with Malaysian authorities to discuss these reports. The University is of course deeply saddened by news of the terror attack in Bangladesh and is assisting authorities with their investigations,” Monash University Malaysia said in a statement posted on Facebook.
The Islamic State group, also known as ISIS, claimed the Dhaka attack but local police said officials were investigating if the terror group was actually involved. Pictures of three of the six gunmen were posted by ISIS and they have been identified as Nibras Islam, Rohan Imtiaz and Meer Saameh Mubasheer.
Most of the attackers came from affluent backgrounds and were educated in prestigious schools. Imitiaz, who reportedly disappeared in December, was the son of Imitiaz Khan — a politician with Bangladesh’s governing Awami League party.
“I am stunned to learn this, dumbfounded,” Khan told the BBC. “There was nothing at home, no books or anything to indicate he was leaning that way. Perhaps through the internet,” he added.
Dhaka police said all the attackers were killed. They added that a seventh man was arrested at the restaurant who they suspect played a role in the attack. The suspect is currently in hospital.
“A majority of the boys who attacked the restaurant came from very good educational institutions. Some went to sophisticated schools. Their families are relatively well-to-do people,” Bangladeshi Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu told India’s NDTV.
Most of the victims were from Italy, Japan, India and the United States. Five of the six attackers were on a government militant watch list.