The website of Amaq news agency, where militant group Dae’sh or Islamic State claimed responsibility for the killing of Rajshahi University teacher Dr AFM Rezaul Karim Siddiquee hours after the crime, was built in the free domain of Wordpress just a month before.
Police are now scrutinising the website, which is operated from the US.
America’s SITE Intelligence Group quoted the news agency to publish the statement that the IS was behind the killing of Rezaul, an English professor.
Rajshahi Metropolitan Police Commissioner Md Shamsuddin said police were scrutinising a statement of the IS sent to SITE Intelligence Group.
“We are trying to find out who sent the information from Rajshahi. Even though the statement was published from the US, it was not created there. Somebody translated it here before sending it.
“The existence of the IS is yet to be proved in Bangladesh. Responsibility was claimed online for many past incidents and we are scrutinising those again,” he added.
Kazi Zahidur Rahman, associate professor of computer science and engineering at Rajshahi University, said not all websites automatically display detailed information but those can be obtained through some special tools.
“By using a number of such tools, SITE Intelligence Group first tweeted that the IS had claimed credit for professor Rezaul’s murder on the website of Amaq news agency. Amaq’s website is actually a blog site where there was only this sentence: ‘Source to Amaq Agency: Islamic State fighters assassinate a university teacher for calling to atheism in the city of Rajshahi in Bangladesh’. SITE Intelligence Group just used this as a source,” he explained.
Professor Zahidur said creating a website by Wordpress is a piece of cake.
“Anyone can build a blog site by registering a free domain and using free templates offered by Wordpress. This is so easy that a website can be built overnight.
“A Bangla website also published the statement of the IS at around the same time. The IP address of the site is 18.104.22.168, which is an American IP. The domain of the website is registered with an ISP provider named Cloudflare.
“According to Cloudflare, the site was opened on March 8 and the first content was uploaded on March 30. Professor Rezaul was killed 22 days after the first content was uploaded, and the claim of the IS was published on the same day,” added Zahidur.
Shibli Noman, a journalist who works on geo-politics and militancy, said the first post on the website of Amaq news agency was uploaded on March 4.
“What is to be noted here is that it is a free website created by Wordpress. This is why no accurate information on who runs the site can be obtained.”
Rajshahi University students yesterday staged demonastrations puting barricade on the Dhaka-Rajshahi Highway for two hours near the campus protesting professor Rezaul’s murder.
Hundreds of students took to the street around 10am and continued demonastrations till 12 noon.
Also, teachers and students of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology in Sylhet also organised a rally following a human chain on the campus.
They formed the human chain, which was joined by over 300 teachers and pupils, in front of the central library and vowed to continue protests until the killers got exemplary punishment.
Teachers to strike on May 2
Meanwhile, public university teachers across the country have decided to demonstrate and abstain from work for three days from May 2 to demand justice for the killing of professor Rezaul.
The decision was made at a meeting of teachers held at the Teachers’ Club at Dhaka University on Tuesday, said Federation of Bangladesh University Teachers’ Association President Professor Farid Uddin Ahmed.
He said teachers would also hold rallies and bring out processions on their respective campuses on May 2 from 10am to 1pm.
“To express solidarity with teachers and students of Rajshahi University, leaders of the federation will join a protest at the university on May 3. A memorandum will be submitted to the home minister and a meeting will also be held with him on May 4 to demand justice for the killing of professor Rezaul and security for university teachers,” added Prof Farid.