|Bangladesh police say top Islamic extremist shot dead|
|[DAWN] Bangladesh police on Tuesday said they had killed the chief of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), an group accused of murdering secular activists and inspiring a cafe siege that killed 22 people.|
Khorshed Alam, described as the "emir" of Bangladesh's deadliest Islamist outfit, was early on Tuesday morning in the northern town of Shibganj, police Sonaton Chokraborty said.
"He died before we could bring him to hospital," Chokraborty told AFP of the 38-year-old .
Police say Alam emerged after JMB's old guard was weakened by the execution of its former commander Sheikh Abdur Rahman, and five other top chiefs, in March 2007.
He is accused of ing a number of attacks across -majority Bangladesh, including most recently the murder of atheist writer and publisher Shahzahan Bachchu in the central district of Munshiganj in June.
He also spearheaded a daring ambush on a prison van in 2014 that allowed two senior JMB foot soldiers to escape, police said.
In recent years, a splinter faction inspired by JMB's earlier leadership
Bangladesh police launched a massive crackdown on since the cafe siege, killing more than 80 suspected Islamists and arresting hundreds more.
|‘New JMB’ planned suicide attack on Dhaka church|
|[Dhaka Tribune] Terrorist group 'New Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB)' was plotting to attack a church in Dhaka on Christmas day, police have claimed.|
The group, many of whose members have been named by the (IS) as its operatives in Bangladesh, was plotting this attack under the leadership of it’s new operational leader Moinul Islam alias Abu Musa.
This information was gleaned from the latest raid on a New JMB raid in Dhaka’s Ashkona, a police Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit officer told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday.
The raid took place on December 24.
Although the CTTC would not disclose details of Christmas day attack, a highly placed source in the force said that the documents they had received from the Ashkona safe house and statements of the surrendered female indicated that the attack would have taken place at Banani Church using at least one member of a female squad.
CTTC chief Monirul Islam said Surjo Villa in Ashkona was being used by New JMB as a shelter home, where Musa used to live with his wife Trisha Moni.
"Four days back, Musa visited the shelter home from where we found 19 grenades, three s and Tk12 lakh in burnt notes," he said.
"We are suspecting their plan was to carry out massive violence on Christmas."
Regarding Musa’s role, Monirul said, by interrogating Musa’s wife Trisha and killed Maj Zahid’s wife Jebunnahr Shila, police had come to know that after the death of top leaders of the group, Musa had become the operational chief.
"We are trying to learn about their operational strength, funding and arms sources from Trisha and Shila," he said.
"We got some clues which are now being scrutinised but we will know everything clearly once Musa is
|[DAWN] IN the recent past, Bangladesh has seen a notable rise in the number of grisly killings believed to have been carried out by elements.|
Police launched a crackdown on Tuesday after the murder of a Hindu priest in one of the country’s western districts.
Earlier on Sunday, the wife of a police officer tracing and a Christian businessman were killed in different incidents.
In fact, the list of targets is quite extensive, and seems to be expanding. Amongst those who have been killed so far are bloggers and academics, while religious minorities are also in the cross hairs.
Shia, Sufi, Ahmadi and Buddhist individuals or places of worship have all been targeted.
According to the Bangladeshi media, in the last 18 months at least 47 people have been killed. While the state says it is fighting back, critics and rights groups have claimed that the government in Dhaka is not doing enough. For example, has said the killings have created "a climate of impunity", and has urged the authorities to deliver justice.
Pakistain knows the dangers of letting extremism and militancy go unchecked and Bangladesh would do well to address the problem before violence becomes uncontrollable.
Amongst the groups believed to be involved in the bloodshed are Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh as well as local affiliates of Al Qaeda and the group.
Though the state has largely rejected the presence of Al Qaeda and IS fighters, media reports indicate otherwise.
Some Bangladeshi papers have published extensive information on the s’ actions; it has been revealed that a number of Bangladeshi have fought for IS in Syria and have now returned home.
For the Bangladesh government to deny the existence of foreign-linked fighters will not make them go away.
Dhaka needs to redouble its counterterrorism efforts and break the networks of s, or else radical elements could seriously harm the fabric of society through their tactics of brutality and violence.
|JMB now has no suicide squad|
|[Bangla Daily Star] Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday claimed that banned Islamist militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) now has no suicide squad.|
I've noticed that usually within a few days of that kind of statement somebody detonates in a crowded market.
Rab's has claimed this though even a few months back it claimed that they had arrested members of JMB suicide squad.
Rab in an anti-militant drive from 6:30pm on Saturday to 5:30am yesterday held the five JMB men from Mymensingh, Narsingdi and Jhenidah districts. The Rab ADG also said JMB activities have almost come to a halt as its command system has been almost broken down and limited to only invitational programmes.
"Wossa motta, Mahmoud?"
"I just can't subvert anymore!"
"There, there, buddy! It happens to all of us sometime!"
Replying to a question, Col Mizan, however, said JMB is trying to reorganise again through invitational activities. "Since JMB is trying to regroup again, we are launching drive against them and nabbing them," he said.
About the present JMB Chief Moulana Saidur Rahman, the Rab ADG said they are closing in on Saidur but yet to arrest him as he shifts his shelter quite frequently.
Of the five JMB men, Ehsar (fulltime) members Harmuz Ali alias Asgar Ali and Mohammad Yusuf were arrested in Mymensingh and Narsingdi respectively.
Gayeri ehsar (part-time) members Abu Raihan bin Sadek, Mohammad Hossain and Mohammad Kawsar Jinnuraine alias Laltu were held from Mymensingh, Narsingdi and Jhenidah respectively.
The Rab also recovered 20 books on jihad, 50 CDs, four cellphone sets, three lethal weapons and some bomb-making materials during the drive. The arrestees in helmets were paraded at the press conference. The Rab ADG said since 2005 they have arrested 12 majlish-e-shura (highest policy-making body) members, 44 eshar, 22 gayeri ehsar members and 90 JMB activists.
|Police round up 7 JMB men|
|[Bangla Daily Star] A team of Special Branch (SB) of police have arrested seven members of the banned militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) from four districts of Rajshahi division over the last couple of days. All the arrestees were paraded before the media at Rajshahi Metropolitan Police headquarters yesterday morning. However, journalists were not allowed to talk to the arrested militants.|
Police identified the arrestees as JMB Rajshahi division chief Ashraf alias Haider, 32, JMB ehsar (full-time) members Md Momtaz, 20, Asadul Islam, 30, Rohidul, 35, and Isarul Islam, 22 and Naogaon district chief Abdur Rahim, 30, and Natore district chief Sahabuddin, 35.
Ashraf was arrested from Malda Colony in Rajshahi city on Wednesday night and following his statement police arrested JMB ehsar members Asadul Islam and Isarul from Chapainawabganj the next day. The SB team arrested Abdur Rahim and Momtaz from Atrai upazila. The same day Shahabuddin and Rohidul were rounded up from Boraigram upazila of Natore.
The arrestees were handed over to Boalia Police Station, Officer-in-charge of the police station said. "Our operations against the JMB will continue and we are now trying to nab all the district level commanders of the outfit," said Additional Superintendent of Police Zannatul Hasan.
Hailed from Chapainawabganj, Ashraf has two wives. His first wife is JMB's woman wing commander.
Terming Ashraf a hardened militant, a police official said, as he was being taken to the Boalia Police Station from Rajshahi Metropolitan Police headquarters, Ashraf told him, "I will be in your place on the judgement day when I will order you and you have to follow."
The police also recovered a number of books on jihad, eight mobile phone sets, computers and CDs from their possession.
Ahle Hadith Andolon Bangladesh Chief Asadullah Al Galib, international terror-suspect Abdur Razzak Bin Yousuf, Jamaat-e Islami founder Sayed Abul Ala Moududi, Jamaat's Assistant Secretary General Mujibor Rahman and Hizb-ut Tawhid Chief Bayazid Khan Ponny were the writers of some of the books recovered.
|Hunt for new militant outfit with JMB link|
|[Bangla Daily Star] Intelligence agencies have come to know about covert activities of an Islamist organisation in the country and its close link with the banned outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh>Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh.|
Officials said they have only learnt the name of the new outfit, Jamaat-e-Muslimeen, and its "dawati" (invitational) activities.
JMB's explosives expert Zahidul Islam Sumon alias "Boma" Mizan disclosed the name and the limited activities of Jamaat-e-Muslimeen to law enforcers during his interrogation at the task force for intelligence cell, they said. Mizan told them that a member of JMB's highest decision-making body Majlish-e-Shura and the outfit's IT wing chief Sayem maintain contact with Jamaat-e-Muslimeen. He also revealed that a few members of the new outfit joined the JMB recently.
|JMB took part in Kansat movement|
|[Bangla Daily Star] In a sensational revelation, a member of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) has said the militant group took part in the Kansat movement in April 2006 because they felt betrayed by the then BNP-led coalition government.|
The JMB part-timer or gayeri ehsar, interviewed by The Daily Star, also said the militant group has opened two new offices in greater Rajshahi and greater Bogra alongside taking up new strategies to recruit members.
JMB became involved in the second round of the four-point Kansat movement in Shibganj upazila of Chapainawabganj on April 21, 2006. A leader of the movement who had prior contacts with the militant group used 500 local JMB full-time and part-time members to destroy government property and set alight several government cars. The JMB members then left the Kansat movement.
The Kansat movement started on January 2006 after locals brought allegation of irregularities against the local Rural Electricity Board officials and irregular power supply.
The part-time JMB member told The Daily Star that despite being weakened by the government crackdown, the outfit is still using different border routes in Chapainawabganj and Jessore to smuggle in bomb-making materials and small arms from India.
He revealed that active members of Majlish-e-Shura are trying to keep the organisation afloat in Dhaka and other divisional towns. Some of the Shura members are "Bhaigna" Shahid from Gaibandha, Hossain alias Shakil and Mahfuz from Pabna, and Saifullah and Abdur Rahim of Chapainawabganj.
Saifullah, Abdur Rahim and a few other members are in charge of smuggling in bomb-making materials through different border routes of Chapainawabganj and bringing them to a recently opened office about 12-13 kilometres east of Rajshahi sadar.
Another office has been opened in an area between Bogra and Joypurhat districts for the same purpose. Houses of JMB workers have been hired for setting up the two offices. The owners of the houses look after the materials.
The JMB member said recruitment has been stalled since JMB's leadership was recast last November. They are including those related to JMB members through blood or marriage while both old ehsar and gayeri ehsar members are being accepted if they want to be active again, he said.
Shura member Bhaigna Shahid, who can make 12 bombs in an hour using electric circuits, had his bodyguard Russel arrested in Bogra two months ago. Shahid has revived his activities in Bogra.
The JMB is planning attacks in several important districts including Dhaka to embarrass the government, the gayeri ehsar said, adding that recce would be done before implementation of the plan.
|Fresh regrouping of JMB in Cnawabganj|
|[Bangla Daily Star] Militants of banned Islamist outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) have started regrouping in the remote villages of four upazilas in the district.|
Police sources said JMB members who fled their localities during the crackdown after the August 17 serial bomb blasts in 2005 have returned to their areas in Shibganj, Bholahat, Gomostapur and Sadar upazilas and invited people secretly to join with them. The JMB members collected arms from secret sources and trained up newly recruited members so that they can make arms and ammunition, police said. Under this situation, police arrested four JMB members in Shibganj and Bholahat upazilas and recovered four locally-made guns and 14 rounds of bullet from their houses in last five days.
Police said many women also got involved with the outfit, as the JMB members have targeted women and youths for their membership.
Acting on a tip-off, a special police team from Dhaka arrested Abdul Munib, 25, from Koilardiar Sannayasi village Wednesday night and recovered a shooter gun and three bullets.
Earlier on June 14, police arrested Abdul Mumin, 24, from Khorogpur village under Shibganj upazila with a shooter gun and three rounds of bullet.
Following his confessional statement, police detained Abdul Rakib alias Sumon, 22, of Shamjola village in Shibganj upazila, and Rabiul Islam, 22, of Musribhuja Sonarpara village in Bholahat upazila, and found the firearms. During the raids, police also seized books on jihad, three mobile phone sets and bullet-making materials.
Zannatul Hasan, superintendent of police of intelligence wing in Dhaka, said all the four arrestees admitted to their involvement with the outfit during interrogation. "JMB members made only grenade and hand bomb in the past. But they are now making arms and ammunition at different places of the district. This is a new dimension and police realised it after the arrests of four JMB men Chapainawabganj," he added.
He said the JMB members are making bullets from the gun of spray insecticide machine. They also trained up the newly recruited JMB members so that the newcomers can make arms and ammunition.
The arrested JMB members have been working under the leaderships of Shahadat and Selim of Gomostapur upazila, police said according to the confessional statements of the detainees. The two men are mainly leading the regrouping of JMB. Three JMB men were taken to four-day remand yesterday. Judicial magistrate court granted the remand for Abdul Rakib alias Sumon, Rabiul Islam and Abdul Munib. Another JMB member Abdul Mumin was also granted remand for four days. Shibganj and Bholahat police filed separate cases against them under the Arms Act.
|RAB discovers JMB den after arrest of outfit's top bomb expert|
RAB sources said they discovered a JMB den, which appeared to be a training camp cum bomb making plant of the outlawed group, at East Monipur area in Mirpur in line with the confessions of arrested Jahedul Islam Sumon alias Mizan and his wife Sharmin Haque Lata.
Another RAB official familiar with the arrest sequences said when they raided Mizan's residence at about 10.30 pm yesterday along with him, "he gave his wife a coded instruction knocking the door saying, how are you? I am sick."
|Over 33 militant outfits active|
|[Bangla Daily Star] The number of active militant organisations in the country might be much higher than 12, which was earlier mentioned in a home ministry report, home ministry sources said.|
Sources in the ministry said intelligence officials have already gathered information on the active militant organisations following directives from the ministry. "The agencies are now analysing the information they gathered," State Minister for Home Affairs Tanjim Ahmed Sohel Taj told The Daily Star yesterday. He said the list would be updated.
Sources in Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) say that there are at least 33 organisations still conducting militant activities in the country. A top law enforcer involved in preparing the report said the number of militant organisations active in the country might be much higher than 12 as mentioned in the home ministry's earlier report which was placed before the cabinet meeting on March 16.
The cabinet had rejected the report saying it was incomplete and asked the ministry to submit a fresh report mentioning how the militants are funded, information about their networks, process of recruitment, their patrons and local and international links. The report was prepared during the caretaker government's rule.
Sources said the intelligence officials are now working to prepare the report and they have identified five NGOs, which are either funding militancy or are active in militancy. The source, however, did not disclose the names of the NGOs.
Sohel Taj said it might take a couple of weeks more to table the report before the cabinet. The report will have complete information about the patrons of militants, their funding, present activities, their organogram, their operations, recruitment system, international connections and training.
The names of the 12 outfits mentioned in the earlier report are: Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh>Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Harkat-ul Jihad al Islami (Huji), Hizbut Towhid, Ulama Anjuman al Baiyenat, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Islami Democratic Party, Islami Samaj, Touhid Trust, Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB), Shahadat-e-al-Hikma, Tamira ud-Din Bangladesh (Hizb-e-Abu Omar) and Allahr Dal. Of those, JMB, Huji, JMJB and Shahadat-e-al-Hikma are banned.
Even though JMB launched its vigilante operation in Rajshahi regions with the name JMJB, the report enlisted the JMJB as a separate active militant outfit.
The home ministry has formed a 17-member committee headed by Sohel Taj to tackle militancy. Representatives from different ministries concerned are in the committee. The main objective of the committee would be to mobilise public opinion against militancy and create awareness so that there could be a social resistance against militant activities.
|Bangla BhaiŽs bodyguard arrested|
|[Bangla Daily Star] Police yesterday arrested a fugitive bodyguard of executed JMB leader Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai at Kornipara of Gabtoli in Bogra. |
This isn't the same bodyguard who got exploded when they captured Bangla Bhai. It's another, presumably niftier, bodyguard.
Russell, also a member of the banned Islamist militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), has been absconding since the government launched a drive against the militant organisation four years ago.
What the hell kind of a name is "Russell" for a proper Islamist? It's like "Herb," or "Bob." At least go with something Arabiany, like "Shabazz" or "Malik" or "Rexx".
Acting on a tip off, police arrested Russell from a bush adjacent to his home, acting Officer-in-charge of Gabtoli Police Station Tofazzal Hossain said.
"We got yer bush surrounded, Russell! Come out witcher hands up!"
Sources said police came to know about Russell's return as soon as he reached home yesterday. "Nothing can be said with certainty about the activities and plans of Russell until preliminary interrogation is completed," said Superintended of Police of Bogra Akram Hossain.
"Yasss. A Russell in the hand is worth two in the bush."
However, police sources after questioning Russell said he had a meeting with Bhagna Shaheed, current JMB commander of Bogra and its adjacent areas, two to three days ago and he talked about JMB's organisational activities with him.
"I'm tellin' youse, Bhagna, we gotta go to da bushes! Udderwise da Barzinis and da Tataglias'll wipe da floor wid us!"
Russell is an accused in a case filed in connection with the JMB attack on Khetlal Police Station in Joypurhat in 2004 and the looting of a rifle, wireless sets and bullets from the police station.
"Hrarrrr! Gimme dem rounds o' bullet, coppers!"
At least seven associates of Bangla Bhai are absconding since the government launched a drive against JMB. Bangla Bhai, who once spread Islamic militancy, was captured wounded on March 6, 2006 from a remote Mymensingh hideout and was later hanged. Bangla Bhai, who used to introduce himself as Azizur Rahman and Omar Ali Litu
... and sometimes as Liam O'Reilly or Martha Jane Cudgel...
while conducting militant operations in the northern region in the name of outlaw-cleansing, started his activities openly with direct patronage from local administration, police and some ruling party lawmakers and ministers in April, 2004. Bangla Bhai and his men killed 22 people and maimed and tortured over 300 in the JMB's vigilante operations in the northern region from April to July 2004.
|Faisal now admits ownership of arms|
|[Bangla Daily Star] Bangladesh-born British citizen Faisal Mostafa who initially denied having any firearms and ammunition seized from Green Crescent Madrasa in Bhola admitted that he owns some of the firearms. "Initially Faisal told us that he does not know anything about the firearms and ammunition but now he admitted to have some of the arms," said an investigator tasked with investigating the arms haul from the madrasa at Ramkeshob village in Borhanuddin upazila.|
Investigators, however, suspected that Faisal, now on a 10-day remand, stockpiled all the firearms, ammunition and explosives either to train up militants or to supply those arms and explosives for militant attacks.
Investigators have already found Faisal's close links with banned Islamist outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh. Faisal had met executed JMB supremo Shaekh Abdur Rahman several times, and kept in contact with Saidur Rahman, now-on-the-run boss of the militant organisation. "We suspect him as a high-profile militant. He has knowledge about most of the militant attacks in Bangladesh," the investigator said wishing anonymity.
Faisal, founder of the madrasa, and his close associate Hassan Saifuddin Badal, who was also taken on a 10-day remand, were sent to Borhanuddin yesterday as their current remand will expire today. The investigator said the duo might be produced before a Bhola court today. He said fresh remand would be sought for them for further interrogation.
Faisal, founder of Green Crescent charity and NGO, was picked up along with his close associate Badal from Pubail in Gazipur on April 6 in connection with the arms haul from his madrasa.
On March 24, Rapid Action Battalion unearthed the 'mini-ammunition factory' inside the madrasa-cum-orphanage and seized 10 firearms, 2,500 bullets, 3,000 grenade ball splinters, 200 gram gun powder, different parts of ammunition and 72 books on jihad, Abul Ala Maududi and Osama bin Laden.