Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has arrested two members of banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) from Dhaka, one of whom was planning to murder Muslims who converted to Christianity.
A RAB 2 team, acting on a tip-off, caught Nuruzzaman Labu, 39, of Jhenaidah, and Nazmul Islam Shaon, 26, from Tejgaon industrial zone on Monday night.
Two machetes, extremist literature and $724 (about Tk60,300) were also seized from them, said RAB 2 Commander Lt Col Anwar Uz Zaman.
“During preliminary questioning, both of them have admitted to being active JMB members. We are trying to catch their associates,” he said.
Sources from RAB said Labu also admitted that he was involved with Jamaat-e-Islami several years ago. He was a madrasa student, but did not finish his studies.
Until Monday, he drove an autorickshaw to run reconnaissance on people who converted from Islam to Christianity.
A RAB official said: “During interrogation, Labu said he already had targeted a man to murder. He has been following that man regularly.
“Labu is also a regional leader of JMB at Jhenaidah and an expert in making bombs.”
The official said Labu joined JMB in 2015 through two men named Saif and Sagar, both of whom also went by several aliases such as Rubel, Robin, Maruf and Sohag.
Saif had motivated him into attacking and killing “the infidels”. They also had held secret meetings with others at different places in Jhenaidah. Later, the local JMB unit had bought him the autorickshaw.
Another RAB official quoted second arrestee Shaon, a marine engineer, as saying that he also got involved with JMB in 2015 after he met one Abu Abdullah on Facebook.
Abdullah was the one who helped him join the militant group, while Shaon was already inspired after reading extremist literature online.
The official said Shaon and another youth named Sulaiman alias Azhar had been working to spread the extremist ideology and recruit new members.