On July 1, for the first time in Bangladesh, militants confined guests at the Gulshan restaurant and killed 20 people including 17 foreigners. Two police officials were also killed in the militant attack as they attempted to go into action.
The next day, in a special commando drive styled “Operation Thunderbolt,” by the army, five militants and one of their associates were killed.
Although the Middle East-based militant outfit Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility of the attack through the Site Intelligence website, the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) has maintained it was an act of the banned local outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).
The investigators believe the outfit is operating under the name of New JMB.
Investigators have shown former North South University teacher Hasnat Reza Karim as the only arrestee in the case so far. A total of 42 persons have been interrogated in the case, among whom 12 gave confessional statements in court giving details of the incident.
Another 30 gave statements to the police under Section 161.
CTTC unit chief Monirul Islam said they have had significant progress in the investigation as the mastermind of the attack has already been killed. They have also identified the trainer, financier and the arms supplier and are now trying to arrest them.
Big success after Gulshan attack
Law enforcers say they have so far foiled three big attack plans since the Gulshan attack.
An official of CTTC unit, who took part in the Narayanganj operation to destroy Tamim’s den, told the Dhaka Tribune that they had come to know about Tamim long time ago but only got details after conducting drive at Kallyanpur militant den.
Tamim’s involvement in the Gulshan incident became clear there, he said.
The drive also revealed that Nurul Islam Marjan is the youngest military commander of the New JMB. Several other militants – Jahangir, Ripon, Iqbal, Khalid – were identified in that drive, said the official.
“We have got a lot of information and been able to destroy two big militant dens since the Gulshan attack, which is very significant,” the official added.
Gulshan getting back to normalcy
Foreign nationals, living specially in Gulshan of Dhaka, have been in fear following the Gulshan attack; a few foreign embassies put embargo on the movement of their staff. However, the success of investigation into the Holey Artisan Bakery incident in the past two months has started bringing back normalcy in the area. People have started visiting restaurants and other places as they used to.
Jashim Uddin, deputy commissioner of police of Diplomatic Security zone, said no fear exists among foreign nationals any more.
“We have kept regular communication with the embassies besides visiting diplomatic offices and houses of diplomats,” he added.
Police, however, still keep the Holey Artisan Bakery under guard.