Militants plotted to explode oxygen cylinders

Four Ansar-al-Islam members arrested

Staff Correspondent

10 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Members of the banned militant outfit Ansar-al-Islam plotted to explode oxygen cylinders at different parts of the country, aiming at hitting the headlines of local and international media.

Additional Commissioner Mohammad Asaduzzaman, chief of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit, revealed this to reporters at the DMP media centre on Sunday after they had arrested four members of the outfit from Basila in Mohammadpur in the capital on Saturday evening.

The arrested are Jasimul Islam Jack, a first year student of BBA at Atish Dipankar University, Abdul Mukit, a teacher of Markajus Sunnah Al Islamia Madrasa at Nabiganj upazila in Habiganj, Aminul Haque, a student of Al Hidiya Islamic Institute in Sylhet and Sajib Ikhtiar, a student of Sunamganj Government College.

The police seized a bag, a machete, five smart phones, two laptops and device to oxygen explode cylinders from their possession.

CTTC chief Asaduzzaman said that the members of the Ansar Al Islam, also known as Ansarullah Bangla Team, opened a group named ‘Science Project’ on Telegram App.  “They planned to explode oxygen cylinders.  We seized   a device to blast oxygen cylinders.  We found important information after scrutinising the device.”

By exploding oxygen cylinders, they wanted to be headlines on local and international mass media, he said.

He said, “They also planned to carry out attack on members of police and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB). Some members of the outfit left their residences for the so-called Hizrat. They also planned to flee to Afghanistan after carrying attack on the police and BGB.”

The officer said some members of the militant organization already left the country for Afghanistan.

He said the arrested four militants stabbed the manager of a hotel at Kotwali in Sylhet a few days ago as per order of their masuls (leaders).

The four radicals came to the capital aiming to carry out attacks on the police and BGB upon directive of the leaders—Farid alias Tariq and Abdullah, he continued.

According to the police officer, the four arrestees engaged themselves in militancy after getting invitation from Tariq and Abdullah through online.

They used to communicate through Telegrams App and a secret chatting app ‘Online Protected Text.

The same team of the CTTC unit arrested Mohammad Al Sakib, 20, a first year student of Physics Department at Sirajganj Government College from manic Mia Avenue in the capital on Wednesday night and and Ali Hasan Osama, 27, khatib (preacher) of Rajbari Bazar Central Jame Mosque from the Rajbari sadar early Thursday for plotting to attack on the National Parliament.

Sakib is a member of the Ansar Al Islam while Osama is the spiritual leader of the outfit. Osama has good relation with the head of the outfit and a former senior leader of Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh.