Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) on Saturday nabbed ‘the financer and arms provider’ of Holey Artisan Bakery attack that took place on the July 1 night of 2016.
The arrestee was identified as Mamunur Rashid, alias Ripon, alias Rezaul Karim, alias Abu Muhajir, 30.A team of RAB-3 captured Rashid from a Mymensingh-bound bus at Board Bazar in Gazipur at around 11:15 pm on Saturday.
The elite police unit also recovered about Tk 1.47 lakh in cash, a diary and four drafted maps from his possession.
Mamun was placed on a five-day remand by a Dhaka court on Sunday.
Mufti Mahmud Khan, director (Legal and Media) of RAB headquarters, briefed a group of journalists on the recent arrest at RAB’s Karwan Bazar media centre in the capital on Sunday.
On the fateful night of July 1 in 2016, a group of armed militants stormed the bakery at Gulshan and killed 20 hostages, mostly foreign nationals. Two police officials were also killed during the 12-hour standoff.
The arrestee, Mamunur Rashid, is the son of late Nasir Uddin of Sheikhermaria village at Nandigram in Bogura.He is a Majlish-e-Sura member of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), a banned militant outfit, and the nephew of former JMB head Shaikh Abdur Rahman’s son-in-law Abdul Awal Sarker.
During primary interrogation, the arrested militant told RAB he passed Dawra-e-Hadith from Madrasatul Darul Hadith in Chapainawabganj in 2009.
Later, he completed Office Application Course from Cyber Tech in Bogra and landed a job in a company.
In 2013, he joined the militancy being brainwashed by Dr Nazrul Islam, who was once the ameer (head) of an offshoot of JMB. Dr Nazrul gave his (Mamun) organisational name ‘Ripon.’
The collection of ‘yanat” (fund) and dispatching that to Nazrul was the primary duty of Mamun.
Within a very short time, Mamun became the second-in-command of Nazrul.
At one stage, JMB ameer Sarwar Jahan took up a new initiative for fund collection and organisational activities.
As per the initiative, Mamun snatched Tk6 lakh from a bKash agent, Tk1 lakh from a cigarette seller and Tk1 lakh from another man and gave them to Sarwar Jahan.
In the meantime, he became acquainted with the militant leader, Abdullah.
In the mid 2015, a memorandum was made in the north part of the country with the presence of Sarwar Jahan and Tamim Chowdhury. Tamim was later killed in a ‘gunfight’ with lawmen in Narayanganj.
Then Sarwar was made the ameer of a portion of JMB, also known as Neo-JMB, and his organisational name was Shaekh Abu Ibrahim Al Hanif while Mamun was promoted to be a Sura member of the new outfit.
In February 2016, a meeting was held in Gaibandha with the participation of Sarwar Jahan, Marzan, Basharuzzaman Chocolate, Razib Gandhi, Mamun and other radical leaders and Holey Artisan Bakery was chosen to attack.
In April of the year, as per the directive of militant leader, Jamil, Mamun went to a neighbouring country to collect finance, firearms and explosives to make the mission successful.
Mamun gave Tk39 lakh to Sarwar Jahan before the café attack. Before the attack, he collected pistols, rifles and grenades from the neighbouring country and brought them to Jahaz Bari at Kalyanpur, a militant hideout.
Then he sent the arms and bombs to Sarwar Jahan through Marzan.
A day before the attack, Sarwar Jahan gave directives to five militants at a house at Baridhara. The five were the direct participants in the attack.
Before carrying out any attack, they exercise drill (mohora). During a drill in 2016 April in Bogra, two militants — Fardin and Tarikul Islam Jewel — were killed in an accident.
RAB officer Mufti Mahmud Khan said Mamun had a plan to snatch the arrested accused in the café attack like that of Trishal militant snatching.
On February 23, 2014, armed JMB militants ambushed a prison van and snatched three prisoners in Trishal upazila of Mymensingh.
A police constable was killed as the attackers opened fire and hurled crude bombs at the prison van at Signboard point of Aminabari area.
He along with other militants also planned to carry out attacks at important places in Dhaka and Chattogram.
On July 23 last year, Inspector Humayun Kabir of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit submitted charge sheet in the café attack case to the court of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, Dhaka, accusing the eight and naming 211 people as prosecution witnesses.
Mamun is one of the eight charge sheeted accused.