Four New JMB operatives were arrested from Mokamtola area in Bogra's Shibganj upazila on Wednesday night.
Four militants who were arrested in Bogra’s Shibganj upazila on Wednesday night had formed a plan to carry out a “mass sabotage” in Dhaka.
Police said the detainees are all members of the banned militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh, commonly known as New JMB.
They include its military commander Babul Akter alias Babul Master, 45, Delwar Hossain alias Mistri Mizan, 39, Alamgir Hossain alias Arif, 26, and Afzal Hossain alias Limon, 28.
“The four arrested militants are very dangerous,” Bogra Superintendent of Police and Additional Deputy Inspector General Md Asaduzzaman said at a press briefing in his office on Thursday afternoon.
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A joint team formed from local police and police headquarters made the arrests at Mokamtola area on Wednesday night, recovering a foreign pistol, 15 rounds of bullets, a magazine, four knives and a machete.
“During the interrogation, it was revealed that they were planning to carry out massive sabotage in Dhaka,” Asaduzzaman said.
“As part of the plan, they decided to go to Dhaka for taking the final preparation. But the plot could be subverted with their arrests.”
JMB’s resurrection bid
The DIG lamented the recurring nature of homegrown militancy, but claimed police had been successful in preventing all major attacks in the country since three people were killed at a Eid al-Fitr festival in Kishoreganj on 7 July, 2016.
That attack came less than a week after 20 people were killed at the Holey Artisan bakery in Dhaka.
“Militancy has not yet been fully uprooted. The moment one of them dies, another one is emerging to fill in the vacuum,” he said.
“That is why efforts are on to eradicate the militants whenever they are trying to regroup. It’s only been the members of the law enforcement agencies who are carrying out drives.”
The DIG said that among the latest militant arrestees, Babul is the one who replaced Rajib Gandhi, alias Jahangir Alam, as the outfit’s military commander for the northern region. Rajib was one of the masterminds of Holey Artisan attack.
Babul joined JMB in 2003, joining New JMB ten years later and becoming its military commander and a sura (top command) member for northern districts this year.
Another arrestee, Delowar Hossain alias Mistri alias Mizanur Rahman, is from a family that has produced at least 10 more New JMB suspects, including his wife and his four brothers. His younger brother, Naim, was killed in a gunfight with police in Rajshahi last year.
Delowar was one of the founders of the largest militant den of the northern region in Sherpur, Bogra.
Alamgir Hossain was recruited to JMB in 2016 by one of its top leaders, Sagar.
The remaining arrestee – Afzal – sold all his assets in 2016 to spend the money for JMB. He was recruited by JMB leader Rajib Gandhi.
Three among the 4 arrestees put to remand
A Bogra court has put three among the four arrestees on a five-day remand each.
Senior Judicial Magistrate Shariful Islam gave the order when police produced Babul, Alamgir and Afzal before his court on Thursday afternoon and sought seven-day remand for each, said Detective Branch (DB) Sub-Inspector Nurey Alam Siddique.
Asked why the DB did not seek remand for Delowar Hossain, Nurey Alam said more details about him would be revealed later.
For the time being, Delowar had been sent to jail, he added.