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5 members of New JMB's 'wolf pack' arrested in Dhaka

  • Published at 10:52 am August 9th, 2019
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They were arrested from Dhaka's Bashundhara R/A area

Police have arrested five suspected operatives of the "wolf pack", an offshoot of banned terror outfit New Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (New JMB), from Dhaka's Bashundhara Residential area.

They were planning to carry out attacks on police, claimed Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Additional Commissioner Monirul Islam, also the chief of the Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of DMP.

"But their plan was thwarted through intelligence surveillance, and advance operations," he said at a media briefing at the DMP media centre on Friday. 

Acting on a tip-off, five militants were arrested on Thursday evening. 

The arrestees are Mohammad Shibli Shahzad alias Sadi, Shah M Asadullah Mortaza Kabir alias Ababil, Masrik Ahmed, Ashraful Al Amin alias Tarek, and SM Tasnim Rifat. 

Two of them are students of North South University (NSU).

Police also recovered 10 detonators, four gas bottles, and five mobile phones from their possession. 

Inspired by online propaganda of local and international terrorist outfits, the five gathered to plot an attack on the police, said Monirul.

Among the arrestees, Sadi was preparing for “Isthehadi attack,” while Ababil is the spiritual leader of the team, said the CTTI chef, adding that they were involved in fundraising through mining crypto currency for carrying out terrorist acts. 

Another arrestee Masrik, a resident of Jessore, was responsible for collecting weapons from the border areas, he furthered.

Besides, Tarek and Tasnim were involved in collecting new members, he added.

What is "wolf pack"

The officials of CTTC said the "wolf pack" is mostly similar to the “lone wolf” which is also termed by militants as “Ekaki Mujahid”. 

They carry out their activities as a sleeper cell. However, they have no organizational base or contact with the central leadership of the organization. Usually, they form small groups by being 'self radicalized,' and plan to carry out attacks as part of the so-called global jihad, Monirul said.

Of the five members, Shibli has been involved in militancy since 2014. He became involved with militancy having been inspired by Badruzzaman Chocolate, who was involved in the Holey Artisan Bakery attack. 

An official of the CTTC said that Ababil was introduced to terrorist activities by Shibli, when was studying at the North South University, and they formed the "wolf pack" group.

Masrik is a friend of Ababil. Tarek and Tasnim were associated with the group through Masrik, he added.

Why was police targeted?

From the beginning, the militants' target was the members of the law enforcement agencies. There have been at least four such incidents that occurred, where the target was police. They also charged bombs. Several policemen were injured in two incidents in Gulistan, and Malibagh areas.

CTTC chief Monirul Islam said: “Many militants have been arrested or killed in various police operations. That's why they are targeting the police. One of the reasons is revenge."

Besides, attacks on police also create panic among the ordinary people, he added.