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'New JMB spiritual leader' Maulana Kashem arrested

  • Published at 09:53 am March 3rd, 2017
  • Last updated at 06:49 pm March 3rd, 2017
'New JMB spiritual leader' Maulana Kashem arrested
The alleged spiritual leader of militant outfit New JMB has been detained in Dhaka. Maulana Abul Kashem also headed a faction of the original Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh militant group, Dhaka Metropolitan Police's Deputy Commissioner (media) Masudur Rahman said. The counter-terrorism unit detained Kashem from Dhaka on Thursday night, he told the Dhaka Tribune. Masudur said that they would brief the media later in the day about the arrest.
Also Read- Gulshan attack weapons kingpin held by CTTC
The New JMB group is affiliated with the international terrorist group Islamic State that eyes establishing Shariah Law in the country, and spreading its jihad to Myanmar's Rakhine State and parts of India. Maulana Kashem had been working at the Okharabari Madrasa of Dinajpur. CTTC unit officials in October last year said that Maulana Kashem had been under their surveillance.
Also Read- New JMB chief Hanif under surveillance
Most of its leaders including its military and operations chief Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury have been killed in gunfights with the police or arrested after they killed over two dozen people at a Dhaka restaurant on July 1 last year. The detectives are now looking for eight to ten second-tier leaders of the New JMB, who were involved in at least three dozen attacks since September 2015. The once-mighty JMB, which was formed in 1998 and banned in 2005, has now split into several small groups due to the detention of its second ameer Maulana Saidur Rahman in 2010 and the execution of five top leaders, including its founder Shayakh Abdur Rahman, in 2007. Maulana Kashem declared him chief of the unit after the arrest of Maulana Saidur.
Also Read- ‘Musa trying to reorganise New JMB’
Former Majlish-e-Sura member of the JMB and a death-row convict, Salahuddin alias Salehin now heads the old JMB faction. He has remained absconding since February 2014 when JMB members snatched him from a prison van. Bangladesh-origin Canadian citizen Tamim Chowdhury came to Bangladesh on October 5, 2013 from Syria and tried to form an umbrella group of militant outfits. Tamim later met Maulana Kashem in July 2015 when he helped Tamim to reunite old JMB members.
Also Read- New JMB Rajshahi military chief killed in gunfight
After the death of Tamim, the operations wing came under the lead of Faridul Islam Akash and later Nurul Islam Marjan, both killed in raids by the police's CTTC unit. Another leader of the outfit Musa alias Mainuddin alias Mosiuddin is now leading its operations. A dozen other top and second-tier leaders of the New JMB group are still absconding. They include Basharuzzaman alias Abul Bashar alias Chocolate, Sohel Mahfuz alias Hatkata Mahfuz, Ripon, Khalid, Junayed Hasan Khan, Iqbal, Manik, Mamun, Azadul Kabiraz and Badal.
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