Four suspected members of Ansar al-Islam arrested in Dhaka
Banned militant outfit Ansar al-Islam is planning to merge their operation with another banned organization, New JMB, the Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crimes (CTTC) Unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police said.
CTTC chief Monirul Islam made the disclosure at a press briefing at the DMP Media Centre yesterday, while briefing the media about the arrest of four suspected Ansar al-Islam members.
The arrestees are: Md Shahin alias Omar, Md Saiful Islam, Hanifuzzaman alias Biplob, and Md Al Mamun.
Acting on a tip-off, a CTTC team conducted a drive in Dhaka’s Jatrabari area on Thursday evening, where they detained the four suspects, along with three machetes, and several training tools.
The CTTC chief said all four were active members of Ansar al-Islam, and among them, Shahin is a leader.
They, along with two others, were working as a cell under the instruction of another leader.
“Shahin is a second-year aviation engineering student at a university in South Korea. He recently came back to Dhaka, with the goal of trying to unify Ansar al-Islam, and the New Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB),” he said.
The CTTC chief said, this group trained for a week in remote areas in Koromjol in the Sundarbans. They also received physical training, learnt the use of machetes, and trained in organizational activities in Alikadam, Bandarban for a month.
Monirul further added that the arrestees were also planning to lease a place in Alikadam to set up a cafe, which they were planning to use as a front for their militant activities.
They used to communicate between each other through the Facebook Messenger app, the CTTC chief said.
A case was filed against them with Jatrabari police station yesterday, following which they were produced before a Dhaka court, and remand for 10 days was sought.
Ansar-al-Islam’s fugitive leader Zia almost inactive
CTTC chief Monirul Islam also said they did not receive any intelligence information on sacked army major Syed Ziaul Haque, a top leader of Ansar al-Islam who is on the run, in recent times, which indicates that he is not active right now.
“If he was active, we would know about it,” he said.
Zia is charged with several crimes in a number of cases, and has an arrest warrant against him. The CTTC is working to arrest him, Monirul added.
Asked if the four aforementioned suspects were in contact with Zia, the CTTC chief said: “Primarily we know that they have no contact with Zia. But their so-called leader may be in touch with Zia.”
RAB arrested a suspected JMB member in Barisal
The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested a suspected member of banned militant outfit New JMB in Muladi upazila, Barisal early yesterday.
A team of RAB 8 arrested the suspect, Salauddin Kawsar, 40, from Dakkhin Kazir Char area in Muladi during a drive.
A native of Dakkhin Kazir Char, and educated in a madrasa, Salauddin worked at a hardware and electric shop in the area, and he is an imam at a local mosque, RAB 8 Deputy Commander Maj Sajibul Islam Sajib said.
He was introduced to leading New JMB member Sultan Nasiruddin Nasir in 2016, and was motivated by him to work for the militant organization.
In New JMB, Salahuddin started working as an activist of the propagation unit, and recruited members in his locality, Maj Sajib further said.
Salauddin will be handed over to Muladi police station after RAB interrogation to identify, and detain his colleagues, the RAB 8 deputy commander added.
Our Barisal correspondent Anisur Rahman Swapan contributed to this report