Fugitive activists of beleaguered Jamaat-e-Islami, Islami Chhatra Shibir and banned militant groups are reportedly coming out of hideouts to reorganise their organisations.
Jamaat-Shibir activists and militants of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Ansar-al-Islam and Ansarullah Bangla Team went into hiding in the face of a police action.
These militant groups having close links with international terrorist outfits are also hatching conspiracy to volatile the congenial atmosphere in the country.
As part of their intrigue, a vested group in the name of local militant groups and the Taliban are also threatening to kill different judges and other influential persons in the country.
Recently, Tangail Women and Child Abuse Suppression Tribunal Judge Khaleda Yasmin has been threatened with death by a ‘militant outfit’. Tangail Superintendent of Police Sanjit Kumar Roy confirmed the information.
Sources said a threatening letter was sent to Judge Khaleda Yasmin in the name of the militant organisation by post recently.
"Since you came to the Women and Children's Court, you have given judgments in many big cases. It has caused a great loss for our people. So if you have the illusion of life, transfer from Tangail. If you don't listen, we will kill you,” it said.
Intelligence sources said being influenced by the recent up rise of Taliban militants in Afghanistan, Jamaat-Shibir leaders and activists linking with other religious fanatics are also hatching conspiracy to make unrest in Bangladesh.
As part of their ill motives, many of their leaders and activists have launched their secret movement, including clandestine meetings in secret hideouts in the capital and other parts of the country, it said.
Members of different law enforcing agencies and intelligence branches are now keeping close watch on their suspicious movement, police said.
Last Monday, law enforcers arrested Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Mia Golam Parwar and eight other party leaders in the capital.
Besides this, over 50 activists of these banned militant outfits have been netted in the hands of law enforcers during their secret meetings in the capital, its outskirts and other parts of the country.
Detective officers said their blueprints to carry out sabotage have been shattered as they have been caught before.
Their blueprints had been highlighted recently after confessional statements given by several of their party activists arrested in different places of the country.
Three days ago, members of the Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of police arrested at least 45 suspected militants in Dinajpur.
Additional Superintendent of Police (Dinajpur Sadar Circle) Sujan Sarker said the CTTC unit from Dhaka arrived in Dinajpur on Thursday night after receiving information about a number of Tabligh Jamaat members planning to carry out large-scale sabotage in Sadar and Biral upazilas.
Subsequently, members of the CTTC unit arrested 12 people from the Baitul Falah Jame Mosque on the eastern side of the Maharaja junction in Sadar upazila around on Friday.
In another drive, the same unit also arrested 17 people from Biral Bazar Jame Mosque and around 16 others from two other mosques in Biral upazila later that night.
On early Thursday, members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested Emdadul Haque alias Uzzal Master, a top leader of the banned militant outfit (JMB), from Basila area in the capital.
The striking team also seized a gun, bullets, two knives, a locally made bullet-proof jacket, several jihadi books, and around Tk 300,000 in cash from the scene.
Chemicals and other materials used for making detonators were also found in Emdadul's possession, RAB said.
Last Wednesday, members of the anti-terrorism unit police arrested a suspected member of the banned militant outfit “Ansarullah Bangla Team” from Sharifpur area in Gazipur.
He was identified as Shariful Islam 19. The arrestee is an active member of the banned militant outfit, police said.
Just two days ago, members of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) conducting a operation also arrested two suspected members of a banned militant outfit Ansar al-Islam with explosives and bomb-making equipment from the Khulna city.
The suspected militants have been identified as Nasim and Hasan.
In the face of the CID police interrogation, the arrestees disclosed that they had a blueprint to carry out subversive activities. They were conspiring to carry out attacks on the government establishments and law enforcers.
According to CID’s ASP Karmakar, the suspects said during initial interrogation that they belonged to the outfit’s “military wing” and were responsible for making bombs and improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Police said the mobile phones found on them contained Ansar al-Islam contents on jihad. The suspects were also spreading extremist and anti-government content in social media.
The suspects were involved in recruiting activists and raising donations as well as were conspiring to carry out attacks on law-enforcers and government establishments, said investigators.
Recently, the CTTC unit arrested three members of the banned militant outfit Neo-JMB.
Md Jahid Hasan alias Raju alias Ismail Hasan alias Furkan, a key explosives expert and chief of Neo JMB’s military wing, was arrested from Kafrul area along with two of his associates by a team from the bomb disposal unit.
The associates were identified as Saiful Islam Maruf alias Bashira, and Rumman Hossain Fahad alias Abdullah, said CTTC chief DMP Additional Police Commissioner Asaduzzaman.
On Saturday early hours, members of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) arrested four suspected militants after a gunfight in Mymensingh.
The incident took place at Khagdahar area near the city during the early hours of Saturday, Md Rokanuzzaman, the chief of Mymensingh-based RAB 14 said.
Khandaker Al Moin, director of the RAB legal and media wing, at a press briefing on Saturday said initial interrogations revealed that the militants were preparing to rob various financial institutions in the district.
The suspects have been identified as Julhas Uddin alias Mehedi, 34, and Alal alias Ishaq, 48, from Mymensingh, Robaid Alam alias Rub, 33, from Brahmanbaria, and Abu Ayub alias Khalid, 36, from Rangpur.
A pistol with three rounds of ammunition, eight bomb-like objects and locks-breaking equipment were found on the suspects.
“A raid was conducted on the area. At one stage of this, the suspects opened fire forcing the RAB to retaliate,” RAB said. The four men were arrested after the shooting ended, he added.
During initial questioning, the suspects said they belonged to the banned militant outfit JMB, said RAB media wing chief Moin.
“Ehsar operatives of the JMB are actively involved in various terror attacks and in robberies at financial institutions to gather funds for the organisation,” he added.
The suspects said that a group of 10 to 15 activists would gather information about several financial institutions, NGOs, gold shops in Mymensingh, the RAB claimed.
The idea was to transfer the loot to another group soon after the robberies, said senior RAB official Moin before adding that the suspects had held a meeting on August 31 in Jamalpur.
They travelled to Mymensingh’s Khagdahar on Saturday by a trawler through the Brahmaputra River.