The Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit (CTTC) detained top New JMB leader Abdus Samad alias Arif Mamu alias Ashiq and two others on Wednesday night
Abdus Samad alias Mamu alias Arif introduced Bangladeshi-origin Canadian citizen and deceased New JMB chief Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury to militant leaders and played a key role in the formation of the militant group, said Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit (CTTC) chief Monirul Islam.
He made the statement during a press briefing on Thursday, following the arrest of Samad, his father-in-law Ziaul Islam, and Samad’s associate Azizul Islam alias Mehedi from Dhaka’s Mohakhali area on Wednesday night.
A firearm, five bullets and 200 detonators were recovered from the arrestees, the CTTC chief said.
According to Monirul, Samad met Tamim through Delwar Mistri and Shariful Islam Khalid after coming to Dhaka on October 5, 2013.
Later, they formed an organization named “Zunad al Tawheed al Khilafai,” where many Ansar al-Islam members joined.
In 2014, Tamim started working towards the formation of New JMB. Samad introduced him to Old JMB members Mamunur Rashid Ripon and Sarwar Jahan. Samad was working as Tamim’s second-in-command at that time.
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Samad joined JMB in 2010.
He had received a madrasa education and was skilled in the Arabic language, Monirul added.
After organizing New JMB, Samad used to visit various training camps of the militant group to motivate trainees. At the same time, he used to help other New JMB members with arms and explosives.
Meanwhile, Samad’s father-in-law Ziaul used to supply detonators, and would hide them at various locations depending on the demand, such as under water at fish farms, before distribution.
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The CTTC chief said Samad had acted as a bridge between Tamim and top militant leaders. Before the attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery in Gulshan, Samad was recruiting new members to the militant group in North Bengal.
Monirul added that Samad would be interrogated further and placed in remand to glean more information.
Samad had neither provided any information nor accepted his involvement in the Holey Artisan attack during primary interrogation, the CTTC chief said.
Monirul Islam further said that New JMB did not have the power or ability to carry out an attack at present, as almost all of their explosives experts had either been killed or arrested during various drives. However, the leaders of the militant group who are still in hiding are attempting to reorganize.
An officer of CTTC unit said Samad was from Nababganj of Dinajpur, but he lived in primarily Naogaon and Chapainawabganj.