Abdur Rahman "Confesses"
Militant chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman admitted to having personally ordered all the bomb attacks, from Cinema bombing in Mymensingh to recent serial bombings, RAB officials said Thursday, reports UNB. The JMB chief was further quoted as telling the interrogators that he had also ordered assassination attacks on several intellectuals, including Professor Humayun Azad of Dhaka University and Prof Yunus of Rajshahi University.

“The banned Islamic outfit used to collect explosives, bomb-making materials and firearms through smuggling and JMB commanders of northern region were assigned to collect those,” one RAB official told journalists, quoting from the confessions of Shaikh Abdur Rahman. At an impromptu press briefing in the Police Headquarters This (Thursday) evening, the disclosures were made following weeklong interrogation of the JMB supremo, held on March 2. Second-in-command of the JMB and operations commander of a twin-outfit, JMJB, Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai was also captured three days after his arrest, on March 6. Injured during the operation, his health conditions didn’t yet permit interrogation. He is under treatment in BDR hospital.

Additional Inspector General of Police Anwarul Iqbal, Director General of RAB Abdul Aziz Sarker and Director of the intelligence wing of RAB Lt Colonel Gulzar Uddin Ahmed replied to different questions. Explaining the reasons for calling the press conference, Additional IGP Anwarul Iqbal said that their attention was drawn to news reports published in different dailies regarding the arrest of Shaikh Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai and their disclosures got from the interrogation.

Shaikh Abdur Rahman is being interrogated by the Task Force Intelligence (TFI)—nobody else is allowed to question him, he informed the press.

The police official called upon the journalists to contact concerned people for accurate information before filing a report to avoid confusions. He requested doing “neutral, objective and constructive report instead of writing confusing reports quoting RAB officials”.

Replying to a question, RAB Director General Abdul Aziz Sarker said that the Rapid Action Battalion is conducting operations to arrest the rest of the JMB operatives and to recover their explosives and firearms.
More late night searches for arms caches, "crossfires" predicted
He, however, avoid answering a question as to whether several Ministers and MPs would be interrogated as they were implicated in the reports as patrons Bangla Bhai. Aziz Sarker dismissed a newspaper report on a meeting of JMB military-wing chief Ataur Rahman Sunny with ministers as “false” and said that Sunny didn’t say anything about such meeting.

“JMB collected 10,000 pounds sterling from two Saudi (friends), and the rest of the funds from bank dacoity, NGO office loot, Jakat and other sources,” Lt Colonel Gulzar quoted Shaikh Rahman as saying during quizzing. He said that they were also investigating how the funding was channeled.

Replying to a question, Gulzar said that Shaikh Abdur Rahman assigned northern-region commanders of JMB, including Ataur Rahman Sunny and Abdul Awal, both Majlis-e-Shura members of JMB, to collect explosives and firearms through smuggling. “Shaikh Rahman ordered the killing of DR Humayun Azad of Dhaka University and Prof Yunus of Rajshahi University,” he said on the basis of Rahman’s reported confessional statements.

BDNews adds: Dacoities and bank robberies as well as money came from foreign connections were the main financial sources JMB. The JMB also used to mobilise funds from `Zakat' and `Fitra' as well as other donations.

Replying to queries, RAB director general Abdul Aziz Sarkar and additional IGP Anwarul Iqbal said that they are yet to get any link between the JMB and arms and ammunitions recovered in Chittagong and Bogra. They said that charge-sheets in the cases have already been submitted, but "we will inform you if any link is found following interrogating Abdur Rahman". Asked whether Rahman admitted their involvement in Udichi and Ramna blasts, Gulzar told BDNEWS that the interrogators are yet to question on the matters. He informed that they are now emphasising on conducting operation to root out the JMB while the details investigation will be carried out later on. "After the conclusion of operational activities, we would go into investigation side," said RAB chief Abdul Aziz Sarkar.

The RAB is yet to start questioning JMB's second-in-command, Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, who is undergoing treatment at a hospital in the capital.
Posted by: Steve 2006-03-10