Officials of the police’s Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit say they have made significant progress in the investigation. The field-level coordinator, financiers and arms suppliers for the July 1 attack have been identified and the law enforcers are carrying out operations to arrest them.
Two of the suspects have, however, fled the country, sources confirm to the Dhaka Tribune.
Meanwhile, a number of top militants linked to New JMB, who follow the ideology of international terrorist group Islamic State, have been killed in raids since the Gulshan attack that shocked the world.
Detectives claim that local militants close to banned outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh formed the New JMB group to create anarchy and terrorise foreigners in the country. The IS aims at establishing Shariah law in the country and use Bangladesh as its base to launch attacks in Myanmar and India.
Since September last year, the IS took credit for 26 attacks in Bangladesh killing 45 people who include non-Muslims and non-Sunnis, law enforcers and citizens of countries fighting against the terrorist group in Syria and Iraq.
Sources say the New JMB top brass identified so far are Mahfuz Sohel alias Hatkata Sohel alias Nasir Uddin alias Bhagina Sohel, field-level coordinator Nurul Islam Marjan, Abu Yousuf Bangali, spiritual leader Abul Kashem alias Boro Huzur, Rajib Gandhi alias Shuvash alias Jahangir, Mamunur Rashid Ripon, Shariful Islam Khalid, IT wing leader Basharullah alias Basharuzzaman alias Rahul, Washim Azwad, Manik, coordinator Iqbal (escaped from Kallyanpur den), Junayed Hasan Khan, Badal, Sagor, Akash and Azadul.
Mohibul Islam Khan, deputy commissioner of the CTTC unit, said that they had achieved two major leads in the Gulshan attack case – identification of those responsible and bringing all under punishment.
The five attackers were killed on July 2 morning while the mastermind, Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, was killed in a raid in Narayanganj on August 27.
According to police, at least 31 members of the New JMB have so far been killed in commando operation and police raids since November last year. Two others were killed by their own hands – one in a suicide mission and another to evade arrest.
“We are conducting drives to arrest the other militants involved with the attacks,” said DC Mohibul.
So far, the investigators have shown arrested former North South University (NSU) teacher Hasnat Karim Khan in the Gulshan attack case.
Detectives claim that the outfit had plans to carry out massive attacks after the Gulshan restaurant assault, but lost much of its strength due to crackdown by the law enforcers.
Investigators say analysing the laptops and mobile phones of the arrested and dead militants, they have came to know that the members of New JMB have established a network outside Bangladesh. They got financial support and arms from abroad to conduct the Gulshan attack.