Elite force Rapid Action Battalion has detained a businessman allegedly for financing militant outfit Shahid Hamza Brigade (SHB).
Manzur-e-Elahi was detained from Uttara area in Dhaka early Wednesday by a team of RAB 7, ASP Mizanur Rahman Bhuiyan, assistant director of RAB's Media and Legal Wing, confirmed to the Dhaka Tribune.
RAB 7 Commanding Officer Lt Col Mista Uddin said: “Manzur gave a total of Tk5 lakh to Hamza Brigade. He transferred Tk4.20 lakh to an account belonging to a man named Moniruzzaman Masud alias Don and gave Tk80,000 in cash to the militant group.
“Don is a member of the brigade.”
Assistant Director of RAB-7’s media wing Chandan Debnath told Dhaka Tribune that Manjur had been named in two cases related to the Hamza Brigade, one with Banshkali police station and another with Hathazari police station.
He had deposited the money at the account of the brigade at Islami Bank Bangladesh for carrying out militant activities, Debnath said.
Since last year, RAB has arrested nearly 30 members of the outfit and recovered 25 sophisticated arms including eight AK22 rifles and huge cache of ammunition during drives at Banshkhali and Hathazari of Chittagong.
Last year, three Supreme Court practitioners -- Barrister Shakila Farzana, daughter of former BNP whip Sayed Wahidul Alam; and Md Hasanuzzaman Liton; and Dhaka judge’s court lawyer Mahfuz Chowdhury Bapon -- were held for financing Hamza Brigade, which was formed in 2013.
A ready-made garments businessman Md Enamul Haque was also arrested for financing the militant group the same year.
Twenty members of Islami Chhatra Shibir, the radical student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, left the party, and sat for a meeting in Foy’s Lake area of Chittagong city in November 2013. They agreed to raise an armed group under the cover of a non-government organisation named Love for Rohingya, according to RAB.
They later designed the new militant outfit, Shahid Hamza Brigade, appointed chiefs for its five wings – three army teams, a media and another to collect new members, bought arms and ammunition, and later trained the recruits, most of who belonged to Chhatra Shibir and radical Islamist platform Hefazat-e-Islam.
To implement their operations, Hamza Brigade received money from different local sources and another Dubai citizen named Allama Libdi. RAB suspects that its chief has fled to Malaysia. The outfit’s five accounts were managed by Don, a former Shibir activist.