SITE, a US-based intelligence site, published a report on Tuesday, a day after the two were hacked to death in Dhaka’s Kolabagan.
Earlier, a Twitter post by Mufti Abdullah Ashraf, spokesperson for Ansar Al Islam, AQIS’s Bangladesh unit, said their ‘mujahidins’ assassinated the two for being ‘pioneers of practicing and promoting homosexuality in Bangladesh’.
“They were working day and night to promote homosexuality among the people of this land since 1998 with the help of their masters, the US crusaders and its Indian allies,” read the announcement.
It said further details will be added.
An editor of Bangladesh’s only LGBT-rights magazine ‘Roopbaan’, Xulhaz also worked as a programme officer for USAID.
Witnesses said the attackers, clad in T-shirts and jeans, fled while firing from their guns and shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’.
They injured a security guard of from the Lake Circus building and a police officer for trying to stop them.
The murders follow the killing of Rajshahi University teacher Prof AFM Rezaul Karim Siddiquee, also hacked to death, while he was catching a bus to the campus on Saturday. The AQIS also claimed it was behind the murder.
The first murder it claimed was that of secular author Avijit Roy, killed by machete-wielding assailants while leaving the Amar Ekushey Book Fair with his wife in February last year.
But the government has been denying that global terror groups were behind the series of killings. But it has failed to make headways into the investigations.