Investigating officers dealing with the Gulshan and Sholakia terror attacks have primarily identified five businesspersons for financing a new JMB group in carrying out operations and are now trying to arrest them.
They have also kept under watch some people inside the country and abroad who had funded some militant groups earlier.
The militants are also collecting money themselves by conducting robbery and mugging, the law enforcers say.
“The militants have created a network of financiers inside the country. They are also receiving funds from some expatriate Bangladeshis through hundi [an illegal channel],” a highly-placed source in a law enforcement agency told the Dhaka Tribune.
The official confirmed that they had got identities of the five businesspersons, but refused to disclose the names as they are now scrutinising the evidence.
Monirul Islam, chief of Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday that they had got some crucial information and evidence regarding the Holey Artisan Bakery attack, and the specific role of some persons behind it.
Around six months back, detectives came to know about a militant receiving around Tk38 lakh from one of his relatives staying abroad through hundi. The militant who was later arrested by the police claimed that he had been asked to give it to another person.
In investigation, it was later found that the sender was a militant financier, and for this, the law enforcers have kept the family members under surveillance.
An official working with militant financing for a long period said that the local militants get huge sum of money from abroad, but it does not reach the attackers or the field-level members. Those members are taught to lead a life with low financial support and asked to spend money for buying arms.
Abdul Mannan, additional deputy commissioner of the CTTC unit, said that interrogating Rakibul Hasan alias Rigan, the lone survivor in Kallyanpur raid, they had learnt that the group’s “Big Brother” used to visit the flat to give them money for buying daily commodities and supply the arms and explosives.
DB police arrested RMG owners Rahat and Azmir from Mymensingh’s Trishal in 2014. Rahat had a factory at Kallyanpur and Azmir at Satarkul of Badda in Dhaka. Moreover, Rapid Action Battalion arrested a businessman named Enamul last year from Tongi for funding a Chittagong-based militant group.
Although, these militant financiers are now in jail, the investigators have kept an eye on their associates and relatives.
The suspected mastermind behind the Gulshan and Sholakia attacks, Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, used to stay in Canada and might have developed a network of financiers abroad before coming to Bangladesh in 2013.
Sanowar Hossain, additional deputy commissioner of the CTTC unit, said that banned militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) had been trying to raise funds by themselves for the last two years by conducting criminal activities including robbery and mugging.
“We have found that the new JMB faction has collected funds by conducting robbery at a bank in Ashulia area, and snatching away Tk65 lakh in Narayanganj and Tk37 lakh in Gaibandha. They were also involved in several snatching incidents in Chittagong,” Sanowar added.