Banned militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahidin Bangladesh's (JMB) Sarwar-Tamim Group is now active as Brigade Ad-Dar-e-Kutni, according to Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).
A high-level leader of the group, Imam Mehedi Hassan, was responsible for recruiting members and finance, and radicalising young men and preparing them for hizrat (breaking off old ties to walk the path towards God) before the militant attack in Holey Artisan Bakery, RAB said, adding that he is now leading the new group.
Three members of this faction had been arrested from Tangail on Wednesday, and the new name of the group emerged after they were interrogated.
The arrestees are Md Abdul Mannan, Md Shamsher Fakir and Johurul Kha. All of them were living in Bhuapurupazila of Tangail. They worked as carpenters in Bhuapur.
Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Lt Col Tuhin Mohammad Masud, the commanding officer (CO) of RAB 3, said: “From our primary interrogation we have learned that a Mohakhali-based radical group was employed to reform the New JMB's Sarwar-Tamim faction under the leadership of Imam Mehedi. The brigade is planning an attack by radicalising and encouraging the new members.”
Tuhin Mohammad Masud claimed that the arrestees had acknowledged that they were active members of banned militant outfit New JMB's Sarwar-Tamim faction and were prepared to launch attacks around the country following the command of Imam Mehedi.
He said the arrestees had also taken an oath at Md Abdul Mannan's home in Bhuapur to be militants under the leadership of Imam Mehedi. RAB had found video footage of the oath-taking ceremony at the house which was being distributed on social media as a means to radicalise more young men.
“Primarily we know that Brigade Ad-Dar-e-Kutni is a faction of New JMB Sarwar-Tamim group and it was formed by Imam Mehedi. He was trying to reorganise the members and motivate them through this brigade,” CO Masud said.
The RAB official also said about eight more people were seen taking oaths on the video. RAB and they are working to identify and find those individuals.
Meanwhile, RAB 11 has arrested another member of the Sarwar-Tamim group named Ismail Hossain alias Atar Ali alias Shamim. He is one of the accused in a case filed under the Anti-Terrorism Act 2009 with the Fatullah police station in Narayanganj district.