The suspect in his twenties had been identified as Marjan, DMP’s counter-terrorism unit chief Monirul Islam told reporters. He is a second-tier leader of the new faction of banned outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh, now known as “New JMB.”
He said that the militants had sent “protected text,” which likely included photos and regular updates from inside the Holey Artisan Bakery, to a link and Marjan had the password to access them.
“He worked as a coordinator between the attackers and the mastermind during the events of July 1,” Monirul said, adding that Marjan is a Bangladeshi and likely highly educated.
He, however, did not clarify how they had got the picture of Marjan or assured about his link to the attack.
A highly-placed source told the Dhaka Tribune that they had learnt about Marjan scrutinising some 30 mobile phones recovered from the restaurant after the Operation Thunderbolt on July 2 morning.
Most wanted Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury is the coordinator of the JMB faction, blamed for carrying out the deadly attack that killed 23 people including 17 foreigners and two police officers.
Police have announced Tk20 lakh bounty for Tamim, and another Tk20 lakh for sacked Maj Syed Ziaul Haque, the alleged chief of Ansarullah Bangla Team. Both are believed to be hiding in Dhaka.
The investigators have also identified at least five persons for financing the New JMB group, which the police say is also responsible for conducting the Sholakia attack on Eid Day.
Monirul said: “We are not sure about his true identity but the arrested JMB members have identified him as Marjan, which is possibly his organisational name.
“Our investigators do not have more information about Marjan at the moment.”
Asked about his presence during the Gulshan attack, Monirul said that Marjan had not been present in the area. “So far we have found that he was present in Kallyanpur area of Dhaka at that time. Basically, Tamim was present in Gulshan.
“Tamim took the five attackers from the rented house in Bashundhara residential area to the restaurant in two phases. He was present there to inspire the attacker.”
Investigation sources said that the attackers used to address Tamim as “Sir.” Entering the restaurant, they stopped communicating with him. They sent photos and updates to Tamim using protected text from a specialised application. Marjan had the password of the protected text.
He opened the ID and distributed the photos among the planners and masterminds of the New JMB, added the sources.
The investigators have released Marjan’s photo on the CT unit’s “Hello CT” android application as a most wanted militant and the DMP website. Anyone with information about the suspect has been requested to contact with the police.