Detectives have unearthed the activities of a new militant group named Junud at-Tawheed Wal Khilafah, which follows the strategies of international terrorist group Islamic State to establish caliphate in the country.
They arrested alleged chief of the outfit Abdullah Al Ghalib, son of retired army officer Abdullah alias Khokon, in the capital’s Baridhara DOHS on Saturday evening, Shaikh Nazmul Alam, deputy commissioner (north) of the Detective Branch of police, said at a press conference yesterday.
Ghalib was a former member of banned militant outfit Hizb ut-Tahrir and served as the coordinator of Ansarullah Bangla Team, declared outlawed on May 25. Through the new outfit, he used to work as an IS recruiter in the country.
Detectives say the group formed recently aims at targeted killing of noted personalities, deteriorating law and order and overthrowing the democratic government.
The members of Rapid Action Battalion found the trace of another militant outfit, Shahid Hamza Brigade, in Chittagong in April. Last week, detectives arrested an IS recruiter and one of his 20 recruits in the capital.
With the latest arrest, detectives in the last couple of years held at least 16 people for their alleged link with the IS.
Ansarullah chief Mufti Jasim Uddin Rahmani was arrested in August 2013 and now undergoing trial for instigating the murder of war crimes trial campaigner and secular writer Ahmed Rajeeb Haider and militant activities.
“During the drive, detectives recovered a passport, four hard disks, two portable hard disks, 10 CDs, a cap inscribed Made in Pakistan and 43 jihadi books from his possession.
“We conducted the raid on information that Ghalib was holding a secret meeting with his accomplices,” the DB official said at the DMP office. Others managed to escape during the drive.
Junud at-Tawheed Wal Khilafah has got 10-15 members, he added.
Ghalib hails from Lebupara area of Jessore. He passed “O” and “A” levels from the capital’s Penspan International School and College. He used to sell fragrance at different places of the capital, Nazmul said.
During interrogation, Ghalib told detectives that he used to collect members for the IS from different parts of the country through the internet. As an IS representative in Bangladesh, he gave them shelter and training.
Ghalib claims that he was working in support of Ansarullah while his associates used to hold secret meetings about recruiting members for the IS.
DB official Nazmul said Ghalib had formed the new outfit following strategy of the IS to provoke an Islamic revolution in Bangladesh. “Some members of the group are now working in the capital and the adjacent areas under the leadership of Ghalib.”
Ghalib is expert in Arabic and he used to train the new members on the language so that they can easily communicate with the other IS members in Syria and Iraq.
“Detectives recovered around 5,000 video footages of such training activities,” Nazmul said. The members are taking training in remote areas of the country, he said. Ghalib also tried to go to Turkey and applied for visa several times.
A case was filed against Ghalib with Cantonment police station under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
Later, police produced him at the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court of Meher Nigar Suchona seeking 10-day remand for interrogation. The court, however, granted the police six days.