Militants plotting sabotage: Intel

Md Esaraf Hossain

18 June, 2019 12:00 AM printer

The activists of banned militant outfits including, Jamaatul Mujaheedin Bangladesh (JMB), with links to international counterparts are mulling to carry out attacks, intelligence sources have said.

The militants are reportedly staying in their different hideouts in the capital and its outskirts including Savar, Tongi, Keraniganj and Narayanganj.

On information, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) has intensified anti-militant drives in the capital.  

As part of its fresh move, DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Miah strongly instructed all high profile DMP officers including its all officers-in-charge (OC) working for 50 police stations to keep vigil on unusual movement of the militants.

The commissioner also instructed them to collect a fresh list of all the homeowners and their tenants in the capital.  

The commissioner said many listed criminals including militants usually rent houses in the capital hiding their real identities.

Such criminals as well as militants introduce themselves to be different professionals including traders, and thus continue their activities secretly, Asaduzzaman Miah said.   

From now on, the militants will not be able to take shelter in the capital as the drive is under way, he pointed out.

If they manage to take shelter through introducing fake NID, it will also be detected by the DMP technology, added the police commissioner.            

RAB sources said in the face of massive raid by law enforcers including RAB, the militants have selected different outskirts of the capital including Tongi, Ashulia, Savar and Narayanganj as safe places for their hideouts.

“In most of the cases, the terrorists rent apartments in areas less frequented by people.”

They want to carry explosives and ammunition without much hassle to run their operation, RAB sources said.

According to RAB record, the elite members conducted around 184 anti-militant drives in which a total of 534 suspected militants were arrested since the holy artisan militant attack. Of the arrestees, seven surrendered themselves to the lawmen.

Of the arrestees, 429 belong to JMB while 11 Ansarullah Bangla Team and 18 Huji, 33 Hujbut Tahir and other militant organisations.

RAB’s media wing Deputy Director Major Raisul Azam said, “In Dhaka, law enforcers including RAB are making door-to-door visits to nab them and collecting information from people in all areas while apps and other online resources are also yielding a lot of information.

So militants cannot commit anything big in Dhaka and other parts of the country right now, he added.

The counter-terrorism police unit chief Monirul Islam recently told the journalists some Bangladeshi-born militants who left the country at different times to join IS militants in Syria have reportedly been trying to return home just after the fall of their last stronghold in Syria.

After getting such information, monitoring surveillance at all international airports and land ports in the country has been intensified so they cannot enter the country, he added.

Since earlier, their photographs and other necessary particulars have been supplied to the airport immigration and other intelligence branches so they cannot avoid arrest after their arrival in the country.

“These people have been blacklisted. The immigration police are very cautious about them. We are watching those who come from countries like Iraq or Syria very carefully,” said the official.

But law enforcers have reportedly not any actual figure of Bangladeshi militants fighting in Syria in favour of the terror outfit — Islamic State (IS).

A source said the number of Bangladeshi militants fighting in Syria with IS could be 20 to 25 while another source claimed it to be 38.  

Intelligent sources said at least 50 people have left the country to join the IS.

On January 12, 2018, there were three “militants” killed during a Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) operation at Tejgaon in Dhaka.

In 2017, three dead bodies were recovered along with improvised bombs and bomb-making materials after the raid in Chapainawabganj Sadar upazila.

On July 21 last year, RAB raided the JMB hideout at Mukhtarbari in Gazipur’s Tongi.

During the raid on a house, the elite force arrested four JMB activists, including their regional chief Mahmudul Hassan Tanvir, ‘Amir’ of the southern region. Others were Ashiqul Akbar Abesh, Najmus Shakib and Rahmatullah Shuvo.

A huge quantity of weapons, ammunition and bomb-making material were also recovered from the house.

On August 27, 2016 three militants including Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, a mastermind of Gulshan café attack, were killed during a joint forces’ raid at a house in Narayanganj Sadar upazila.

Recently, RAB arrested Tariqul Islam, alias Nazmus Sakib, a leading member of JMB from Narayanganj.

During primary interrogation, Tariqul said he took over the charge as the JMB’s southern region’s head in 2016 after Abdullah Al Mamun was killed in a gunfight with the police in Bagerhat of Khulna.

In an attempt to rebuild the organisation, he had been secretly recruiting new members and collecting weapons in Dhaka and the southern region of the country.