Even as they killed the foreigners

The murderers at the Holey Artisan Bakery wanted to get famous.

Sumir Barai was hiding in the washroom when one of the gunmen shouted “Bengali people, come out.”

“You don’t need to be so tense,” one of the men told them. “We will not kill Bengalis. We will only kill foreigners.” At that, Mr. Barai’s gaze flicked to the floor of the restaurant, where he could see six or seven bodies, apparently shot and then sliced with machetes. All appeared to be foreigners.

The gunmen, he said, seemed eager to see their actions amplified on social media: After killing the patrons, they asked the staff to turn on the restaurant’s wireless network. Then they used customers’ telephones to post images of the bodies on the internet.

That’s a pretty detail, isn’t it? Murder as photo op? I bet the guys who knocked down the World Trade Center wished they could see themselves on tv afterwards – or maybe they thought they would see themselves on tv afterwards, with Mohammed patting them approvingly on the shoulder.

Even as they killed the foreigners, the attackers were unfailingly polite and solicitous with the restaurant staff and other Bangladeshis, Mr. Barai said.

They took the staff into their confidence, complaining that foreigners, with their skimpy clothes and taste for alcohol, were impeding the spread of Islam. “Their lifestyle is encouraging local people to do the same thing,” a militant said.

Hey here’s an idea – why don’t those guys and the post-Brexit foreigner-haters get together and build their own foreigner-free utopia? They have so much in common, despite the differences in religion and language and fashion.

Mr. Barai recalls being puzzled by the attackers, who spoke cosmopolitan Bengali, and even some English, when conversing with the foreigners.

“They were all smart and handsome and educated,” he said. “If you look at those guys, nobody could believe they could do this.” In the predawn hours, the militants lectured their captives on religious practices, instructing the kitchen staff to say regular prayers and study the Quran.

Early in the morning, the gunmen released a group of women wearing hijabs and offered a young Bangladeshi man, Faraz Hossain, the opportunity to leave, too, said Hishaam Hossain, Mr. Hossain’s nephew, who had heard an account from the hostages who were freed.

Mr. Hossain, a student at Emory University, was accompanied by two women wearing Western clothes, however, and when the gunmen asked the women where they were from, they said India and the United States. The gunmen refused to release them, and Mr. Hossain refused to leave them behind, his relative said. He would be among those found dead on Saturday morning.

Murdered by men who were all smart and handsome and educated.

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