RAB said Reza conducted several attacks in Bangladesh’s northern region
Md Mamunur Rashid, arrested in connection to Gulshan attack, had sent Tk 39 lakh, firearms and explosives to Bangladesh for the 2016 attack, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) says.
RAB's Legal and Media Wing Director Mufti Mahmud Khan made the statement while addressing the media at its Karwan Bazar Media Centre in Dhaka on Sunday.
Earlier on January 19, Md Mamunur Rashid alias Ripon alias Rezaul Karim alias Reza, a member of the banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), was arrested from Gazipur. Reza supplied money, arms and explosives for the militant attack.
Talking to the media, Mufti said as per the decision of top JMB leaders, Reza went to a neighbouring country to collect the money, arms and explosives in April 2016.
He said: “Reza confessed that he sent around Tk39 lakh to Sarwar Jahan [chief of New JMB], from that country right before the attack in Holey Artisan bakery.”
The elite force official said Reza also sent two AK-22 rifles, pistols and grenades to Sarwar Jahan at a house of Kollyanpur through the Marzan, another planner of the attack.
In February 2016, Sarwar, Reza, along with JMB leaders --Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, a mastermind of cafe attack, Marzan, and Basharuzzaman Chocolate-- held a meeting, where Jahangir Alam alias Rajib Gandhi was also present.
They were said to have discussed and finalized on the plans of the Holey Artisan attack in Gulshan, four months before the incident.
RAB also said Reza, who was in charge of collecting money, providing military training to new recruits, and supplying arms and explosives for JMB, was mentioned as one of the prime accused of the attack’s charge sheets.
According to Reza’s confession to RAB, other member of JMB’s Majlish-e-Sura unit were closely associated with the plans of the attack.
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Mufti also said Reza conducted a number of militant attacks in the northern region of Bangladesh under the leadership of Rajiv Gandhi.
During a drill of attack in April 2016, two Sura members --Fardin and Tarikul Islam alias Jewel-- were allegedly killed in Bogra.
What happened at Holey Artisan?
On July 1, 2016, gunmen stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka’s Gulshan area and opened fire. A total of 22 people, including 17 foreign nationals and two policemen were killed in the attack.