|Musa likely among dead militants|
|[Dhaka Tribune] The Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crimes (CTTC) unit of police suspects that one of the four killed during the joint operation of security forces in Sylhet’s Shibbari could be Mainul Islam Musa, the alleged chief coordinator of New JMB.|
CTTC told s on Tuesday that a photo of one of the dead bore strong resemblance to Musa.
On Monday, Bangladesh Army recovered two of the four bodies from inside Atia Mahal and handed them over to the local police.
A CTTC high official, seeking anonymity, said: "One of the does look like Musa, but faces usually get mangled during such incidents. We are trying to match the face of the with that of Musa using the photo we received during the Ashkona raid. We will collect DNA samples and other evidence and send it to the forensic lab for examination."
Police collected Musa’s picture from the tenant form that he provided to the house owner’s daughter while renting a flat in Ashkona.
Police received Musa’s name from Afif Qadri, son of top New JMB leader Tanvir Qadri, who gave a confessional statement before a court, said CTTC chief Monirul Islam at a last year.
After Ashkona raid on December 24 last year, Monirul confirmed that Major (retd) Zahidul Islam alias Zahid and some other top leaders and mid-level leaders of New JMB have been on the run since the death of their leader and Gulshan attack Tamim Chowdhury in another CTTC raid.
Once a second tier leader in New JMB, Musa then took charge of coordinating the group, Monirul said.
After the arrest of Jahangir alias Rajiv Gandhi, he became the most active leader in the field, said CTTC officials.
Musa, who was described as well-mannered by his neighbours back at his village home in Bagmara, Rajshahi, was radicalised by Faisal, his expatriate friend who lives in Bahrain.
He was an avid follower of executed JMB leader Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai and was close to Major Zahid, living in the same building with Zahid and his family, his mother Sufia Begum said.
|Jhalakathi judge killer JMB man executed|
|[Dhaka Tribune] JMB member Asadul Islam Arif, who was given death penalty in Jhalakathi judges Jagannath Pare and Sohel Ahmed killing case, has been hanged in Khulna district jail.|
The sentence was executed at 10:30pm on Sunday amid tight security, said Khulna Jail Super Kamrul Islam confirmed the Dhaka Tribune.
Khulna Deputy Commissioner Nazmul Ahsan, DIG Prisons (Jessore) Tipu Sultan, Magistrate Md Nur-e-Alam Siddique, Civil Surgeon Dr Md Abdur Razzak and Jail Superintendent Kamrul Islam were present during the execution.
Arif and six other JMB leaders including its founder Shayakh Abdur Rahman and second-in-command Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai were sentenced to death on May 29, 2006. The six were executed on March 29, 2007 after the Appellate Division upheld their sentence and the president turned down their mercy petitions.
The four others executed were Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) Majlish-e-Sura members Ataur Rahman Sunny, Abdul Awal Molla alias Omar alias Shakil Ahmed and Amjad Hossain alias Khalid Saifullah, and Iftekhar Hassan Al Mamun.
Arif, who was absconding during the trial, was on July 10, 2007 and appealed against his sentence. Finally the Appellate Division rejected his appeal on August 28 this year.
He is the first death-row convict executed at the Khulna jail after a decade. On May 9, 2004, the jail authorities hanged top criminal Ershad Sikder.
Hailing from Bandorgachhia village of Barguna, Arif’s relatives were allowed to meet him at noon. He would be buried at his in-law’s village in Bagerhat’s Morelganj, family sources said.
Senior assistant judges of the Jhalakathi court Jagannath Pare and Sohel Ahmed were killed in a suicide at Purba Chadkati of the town when they were going to the court on a microbus on November 14, 2005 as part of the JMB’s all-out attacks on the courts and law enforcers across the country.
Sohel while Jagannath at a hospital. JMB member Mamun, who was injured in the attack, was arrested from the spot.
The JMB recently said that their members had conducted the s after the August 17, 2005 series blasts as the then "government did not respond to their call for establishing Islamic rule in the country positively."
After the execution of the six JMB leaders, its members Jhalakathi public prosecutor Haider Hossain who represented the state in the case "as the first ."
A Jhalakathi court in February last year sentenced to death five members of the JMB for the murder of Haider.
|Bangla Bhai’s deputy Khamaru arrested again|
|[Dhaka Tribune] Executed JMB leader Bangla Bhai's second-in-command Mahtab Khamaru, who was blessed by top BNP leader a decade ago, have been again, for the fourth time since 2005|
Khamaru was arrested from Hamirkutsa area of Baghmara Upazila around 11:30am Monday allegedly for regrouping the organization. He hails from Talghoria village of Hamirkutsa Union.
He was shown arrested in a case filed under the Anti-Terrorism Act and produced before a district court, Baghmara OC Selim Hossain told the Dhaka Tribune’s Abdullah Al Dulal. "The court has sent him to jail. We will seek his remand later."
Khamaru is accused in several cases filed with Baghmara police for murder, torture, abduction and extortion in the area in 2004.
From March 31 to May 24 that year, Shayakh Abdur Rahman’s JMB and its associate organization Jagrata Janata Bangladesh (JMJB) ‐ under the leadership of Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai ‐ carried out series of attacks on members of the Awami League and outlawed leftist groups with the blessings of the then BNP-Jamaat government. At least 24 people were killed and several hundreds injured in the attacks conducted in broad daylight.
Acting as a regional commander of the JMB, Khamaru even took part in an armed procession of the outfit in Rajshahi town in 2004.
"Police are investigating one of those cases while the others are under trial," the OC said.
After the two outfits were banned on February 23, 2005, RAB arrested Khamaru on November 27. But he was released soon after then prime minister ’s son Tarique phoned state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar for his release, according to a US embassy cable released by whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.
Tarique was acting at the behest of then state minister for land Ruhul Kuddus Talukder Dulu, the cable says. Several other ministers and local s supported Bangla Bhai at that time.
JMB leader Khamaru was later arrested twice ‐ on March 9, 2007 and July 23, 2012, but managed to come out of jail on bail. In 2012, he was shown arrested in a case filed for abduction and torture of one Amir Ali of Baghmara in 2004. He went into hiding after getting bail.
|SC upholds death for JMB man in Jhalakathi judges murder|
|[Dhaka Tribune] The Supreme Court has upheld the death penalty handed down to a member of banned outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) for carrying out a suicide that killed two judges in Jhalakathi in 2005.|
A five-member Appellate Division panel headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha gave the verdict, rejecting the review plea filed by Asadul Islam on Sunday morning.
Senior assistant judges Jagannath Pandey and Sohel Ahmed were killed in the on November 14, 2005.
The Appellate Division had upheld death sentence of seven JMB leaders, including its chief Abdur Rahman, second-in-command Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai and Asadul, in the case.
The death sentences of all the but Asadul were executed in 2007. Asadul was the same year and has remained in jail. He filed the review petition against the apex court verdict this year.
|Pro-JMB ‘Ansar Rajshahi’ targets Hindus|
|[Dhaka Tribune] Absconding JMB leader Shariful Islam Khalid, a Rajshahi University student who was allegedly involved in the murder of his teacher Prof AFM Rezaul Karim, is one of the organisers of a new outfit named Ansar Rajshahi raised in Baghmara area, police have claim|
Police have gathered evidence that the outfit prepared a list of local Hindus and secularists, and finalised plans to kill a doctor, Nirendranath Sarker. The members communicate with each other through secured messaging application Threema and social media website Facebook.
The , however, are yet to know when the group started work and the possible number of its members.
They came to know about the outfit after questioning two cousins of Shariful ‐ Aminul Islam Rumi, 23, and Enamul Huq Sabuj, 22, of Sreepur Khamarpara vilage under Baghmara.
The duo were on Monday night and produced before a Rajshahi court the following day with a five-day remand prayer for each. The hearing may take place next week, according to court sources.
During interrogation, Rumi disclosed the names of three of his associates in Ansar Rajshahi ‐ Rawshan Ali alias Akash, of Parbhangura under Pabna’s Bhangura; Abu Ibrahim alias Tareq alias Ripon, and Md Bulbul alias Alamin alias Billal of Boalia in Rajshahi.
Since last year, the JMB members have killed at least seven Hindu priests across the country while threatened several dozen Hindus and Christians with death. The outfit also launched attacks on three Christians in the northern districts. Two of them were killed.
Known as a stronghold of outlawed JMB, Baghmara saw a deadly on a local Ahmadiyya mosque on December 26 last year that killed the JMB er and injured 10 devotees. In 2004, JMB second-in-command Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai established a reign of terror in the area by killing and torturing scores of people.
Shariful alias Rahat alias Talha, 25, has remained missing for the last 15 months, his family members say. He is the son of Abdul Hakim of Sreepur Khamarpara. He was a student of English department at Rajshahi University. Police claim that he was one of the JMB operatives who hacked Prof Rezaul to death near his house in Shalbagan area on April 23.
The family members of Shariful filed a general diary with the police on July 4 seeking information about him. He used to meet Rumi and Sabuj regularly before he going missing last year.
The RMP authorities on July 29 announced Tk1 lakh bounty for Shariful and another JMB ‐ Nazrul Islam alias Bike Hassan who was wanted in 11 cases filed over the recent '>assassinations including Prof Rezaul murder. Nazrul was killed in an alleged with the DB police in Rajshahi on August 1.
Families unaware of link
Rumi’s family claims his father Saiful Islam was picked up by plainclothes police from the house at Sreepur Khamarpara village around 1am on August 11. Rumi fled the house sensing the presence of the police.
At that time, police allegedly asked the family to hand over Rumi to them to ensure release of Saiful, and they complied with the condition. They went to the around 11am along with Rumi and the police let Saiful go.
Rumi’s mother Tayejan Begum said that her son used to say prayers at the local mosque regularly and work with his father in the field. "He was introvert ... was not attentive in his studies."
Tayejan said that she had no idea what Rumi and Shariful used to do apart from studies. She claimed that Rumi was innocent and demanded that the people behind Ansar Rajshahi be arrested immediately.
A local grocer Ali Hossain said that Rumi and Sabuj used to go to his shop for chat. "They were very close to their cousin Shariful," he told the Dhaka Tribune.
|JMB militant Khamaru held|
|[Bangla Daily Star] early yesterday Mahtab Khamaru, a key leader of outlawed group JMB, from Talgharia village in Bagmara upazila here.|
Khamaru, 45, was a regional commander and the second-in-command of (JMB) in 2004, when its leader Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai was operating in the region, said a release of Rab.
He was also a close aide to Bangla Bhai, who was executed in March 2007 in the two judges' murder case in Jhalakathi.
Acting on intelligence information, members of the elite force picked him up from his home around 3:50am. He had been on the run for a long time, said ASP Mirza Golam Sarwar, chief of Rab's anti-militancy cell.
Khamaru was sent to jail through a court after Rab members handed him over to Bagmara Police Station for legal action.
A few weeks ago, a Rajshahi court had issued arrest warrants against him and several others in connection with a case filed by Amir Ali of Madhya Jhina area of the upazila on August 17 in 2009.
According to the case statement, Khamaru and his associates Amir from his house in 2004 and tortured him for extortion.
The arrestee is also accused in five other cases of extortion and torture, said the release.
|Terror financed due to HSBC failure|
|[Bangla Daily Star] Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd and Social Islami Bank Ltd came into the spotlight yesterday for their alleged links to terrorist financing after a US Senate report exposed British banking giant HSBC's internal governance failure to control flows of suspect funds.|
One of the banks was allegedly funding al-Qaeda, and 's brother-in-law held shares in a company that has shares in the bank.
In all these cases, profit motive rather than cautions from various levels within the bank and standard procedures ruled the game.
More thoughts were given to the bank's making $47,000 in revenue that might go up to $75,000 a year later than to the terrorist links the banks allegedly had, or the US authorities' view of the banks.
A report of the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, a congressional watchdog panel, has revealed these troubling information which show a "pervasively polluted" culture at HSBC Holdings Plc.
The bank acted as financier to clients seeking to route shadowy funds from the world's most dangerous and secretive corners, including Mexico, Iran, and Syria, according to the report.
The US report also mentioned that Al Rajhi Bank, a Saudi bank, was involved in suspicious transactions.
HSBC apologised to the US Senate, saying it takes "compliance with the law, wherever it operates, very seriously".
In one instance, when Islami Bank wanted to open a US dollar account with the HSBC US office, questions were raised about the Saudi bank Al Rajhi's 37 percent ownership in Islami Bank. Ears of HSBC's anti-money laundering unit were cocked.
But the then head of HSBC Global Banknotes, Chris Lok, felt that his interest in considering a new account depended upon whether there was enough potential revenue to make.
"Is this an account worth chasing....How much money can you expect to make from this name? It's just that if the revenue is there then we are prepared for a good fight," he wrote. "The money is there and we should go for this account."
"Then Lok and others approved the account despite questions about its [Islami Bank] primary shareholder Al Rajhi Bank, whose past links to terrorist financing had received attention in the media ...and troubling information about Islami Bank itself," the senate report said.
HSBC's own Financial Intelligence Group (FIG) unit had reported that Sheikh Abdur Rahman, chief of Bangladesh's terrorist outfit JMB, had an account with Islami Bank. Bangladesh Bank found that two branches of Islami Bank had been engaged in "suspicious transactions" and urged the bank to take action against 20 bank employees for failing to report the suspicious transactions, according to the FIG report.
Six top including JMB chief Abdur Rahman and his deputy Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai were executed for killing two Jhalakathi judges in 2007.
HSBC's Know Your Customer unit had reported that Islami Bank be classified as a highest risk client but HSBC rejected the suggestion. It meant HSBC did not subject the bank to any enhanced monitoring.
HSBC's another internal report said a Saudi NGO, International Islamic Relief Organisation (IIRO), had been implicated in terrorist financing by the US government and included on the list of those prohibited to do business in the US. The IIRO had accounts with both Islami Bank and Social Islami Bank, and yet HSBC's Compliance Department denied an internal request of due diligence on the bank.
"Today, although HSBC exited the US banknotes business in 2010, Islami Bank remains a customer of two dozen HSBC affiliates," the report said.
Similarly on Social Islami Bank, the HSBC's internal report said two shareholders of the bank -- the IIRO and Islamic Charitable Society Lajnat al-Birr Al Islam -- had alleged links to terrorism.
"IIRO has also reportedly funded al-Qaeda directly as well as several of its satellite groups. Osama bin Laden's brother-in-law Mohammad Jamal Halifa headed the Philippine branch of the IIRO," said the FIG's internal report.
While the FIG cautioned about opening an account of Social Islami Bank, it failed to inform HSBC that Lajnat al-Birr, whose original name is Benevolence International Foundation, was designated by the US as a "financier of terrorism" with whom US persons are prohibited from doing business.
There were debates within HSBC about whether to open an account of Social Islami Bank, and yet the account was finally opened.
The FIG of HSBC also cautioned the bank about keeping Social Islami Bank as a client, an advice ignored by the British bank.
According to the US report, HSBC Bank USA, the US affiliate of the Asia-focused bank, supplied US dollars to Islami Bank and Social Islami Bank despite evidence of their links to terrorist financing.
The report, prepared by a team led by Senator Carl Levin, said in the case of Islami Bank, the factors included substantial ownership of the bank by al Rajhi, the central bank's fines for failing to report suspicious transactions by s, and an account provided to a terrorist organization.
And in terms of Social Islami Bank, the factors included ownership stakes held by two terrorist organizations whose shares were exposed but never sold as promised, and a bank chairman found to be involved with criminal wrongdoing.
The report said Al Rajhi Bank was associated with Islami Bank Bangladesh that provided an account to a Bangladeshi who had been accused of involvement in a terrorist bombing.
Islami Bank was fined three times for violating the anti-money laundering requirements in connection with providing bank services to "militants."
Al Rajhi Bank provided a correspondent account to Social Islami Bank, whose largest single shareholder had been the IIRO for many years.
A second shareholder was the precursor to the Benevolence Islamic Foundation, also later designated by the US as a terrorist organization, said the report.
In a statement on Monday, HSBC said, "We will acknowledge that, in the past, we have sometimes failed to meet the standards that regulators and customers expect. We will apologise, acknowledge these mistakes, answer for our actions and give our absolute commitment to fixing what went wrong.
"We have learned a great deal working with the Subcommittee on this case history and also working with U.S. regulatory authorities, and recognise that our controls could and should have been stronger and more effective in order to spot and deal with unacceptable behaviour.
"We believe that this case history will provide important lessons for the whole industry in seeking to prevent illicit actors entering the global financial system."
The bank said with a new ship team and a new strategy in place since last year, the HSBC Group has already taken a number of concrete steps to augment the framework to address these issues including significant changes to strengthen compliance, risk management and culture.
|[Bangla Daily Star] Law enforcers believe outlawed which came to the limelight for its synchronised bombing across the country six years ago, has almost no strength left to carry out any subversive activities.|
The network of the outfit has totally collapsed with the arrests of its members of all tiers in massive crackdowns and its strength has almost waned, say officials of police and .
They however add JMB still has its roots, but there is hardly any chance of rearing their heads since they are under strong vigilance.
The Islamist outfit grasped the spotlight as a hardcore organization blasting 459 time bombs in 63 districts on August 17, 2005 that left two persons killed and 50 others injured.
In subsequent attacks, they also killed a number of people including two judges in Jhalakathi, sending a chill through the nation.
JMB founding ameer Sheikh Abdur Rahman along with his second-in-command Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai and four others was executed on March 30, 2007 in the judges killing case.
Since the attacks, 356 cases have been filed against around 800 JMB members and law enforcers have so far 656 of them. Of the cases, 142 cases were filed in connection with the August 17 blasts against 443 JMB leaders and operatives.
Among the 142 cases, the courts pronounced verdicts in 78 cases giving death sentence to 24 accused, life term imprisonment to 92 and imprisonment to 77 others on different terms. Besides, 171 of the accused were acquitted.
a High Court bench last month delivered a dissenting verdict in the Jhenidah blast case filed on August 17, 2005 in connection with the JMB bombing.
Two judges of the HC bench gave a split verdict. One judge acquitted all the 21 convicted by the trial court, saying charges brought against them were not found to be proved. On the other hand, the other judge acquitted seven accused and gave life imprisonment to the rest.
The HC bench delivered the split verdict after holding hearing on the death reference of the case and jail appeals filed by the accused against their conviction.
Law enforcers suspect Sohail Mahfuz is now the JMB's helmsman after the arrest of ex- chief Moulana Saidur Rahman in June last year in the city. Sohail is an arrogant person and is skilled in making powerful bombs including belt bombs.
"But he alone cannot do anything. To execute a plan, he needs a network in all tiers, but he does not have any," said Rab legal and media wing director Commander M Sohail.
The Rab director however said they are not dismissing any possibility and that is why they are always vigilant against JMB activities.
Lt Col Ziaul Ahsan, intelligence wing director of Rab, told The Daily Star yesterday the banned outfit has again started some activities in some northern districts including Rajshahi, Dinajpur and Thakurgaon.
the activities are limited to recruitment of members and fund collection, he added.
|JMB active despite arrest of top brass|
|[Bangla Daily Star] Law enforcers fear a backlash from Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) despite detaining the top brass of the banned militant outfit in recent months.|
Rab and police officials said the JMB is still a concern for them as some dedicated operatives are active in the organisation. Some of the militants have training on making high-powered explosives like belt bombs.
The JMB is reportedly in a shambles due to arrest of its chief Saidur Rahman, military wing chief Shiblu and acting chief Anwar Alam alias Nazmul over one and a half months since July 12.
The officers said Sohail Mahfuz, who is oldest among three serving JMB Majlish-e-Sura members, might have taken over as its helmsman.
"Sohail Mahfuz is known as an arrogant person. He might launch bomb attacks against those he would consider as enemy," said a top Rab official seeking anonymity.
Rab Director General Hassan Mahmood Khandker told The Daily Star yesterday they have kept a grip on JMB activities. Even then, he considers it a potential threat.
Rab sources said there is also a chance that one of two sura members -- Shaheed alias Osman and Dhaka University graduate Siddiqur Rahman alias Mostafiz who worked as an adviser to Saidur -- has assumed the post of JMB ameer.
The JMB stepped into the spotlight as a hardcore militant outfit through synchronised bomb attacks in 63 of 64 districts on August 17, 2005.
In subsequent attacks, they killed a number of people including two judges in Jhalakathi.
Since August 17 blasts, crime busters have so far arrested 985 JMB leaders and operatives, including 607 captured by Rab alone.
The arrestees include its founding ameer Shaikh Abdur Rahman who along with his second-in-command Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai and four other leaders was executed on March 30, 2007.
Police sources said a total of 322 cases were filed with different police stations since the countrywide blasts.
Of the cases, police have submitted charge sheets in 289 cases and final reports in 25 cases. Eighteen of the cases are under investigation.
Trials of 115 cases have been completed in which 51 persons got death sentence, 131 life imprisonment and 184 different terms. Some 318 people have been acquitted and 174 cases are still under trial.
Of the 322, a total of 154 cases were lodged in connection with the August 17 bomb blasts.
Of the cases, detectives have submitted charge sheets in 133 cases and final reports in five cases. Sixteen cases are still under investigation, CID sources said.
The sources also said trials were completed in 81 cases in which 29 accused were sentenced to death, 80 life imprisonment and 79 persons to different terms. Some 57 cases are still under trial.
|Bangla Bhais wife, 2 JMB men jailed|
|[Bangla Daily Star] A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced the wife of executed Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) leader Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai and two JMB men to 20 years' rigorous imprisonment each for possessing explosive substances.|
The convicts are Fahima alias Farzana, Salahuddin alias Saleheen and Asaduzzaman Chowdhury alias Panir.
Judge Mohammad Rezaul Islam of the Speedy Trial Tribunal-4 handed down the sentence in presence of the convicts at a packed courtroom.
Earlier, the prosecution and the defence had completed their arguments and the court recorded statements of 16 prosecution witnesses.
According to the prosecution, a team of Rapid Action Battalion on December 18, 2005 raided a residence at Aqua Morolpara under Kotwali Police Station in Mymensingh district.
The elite force recovered 57 items of explosives and arrested Saleheen and Panir from the scene. Farzana was later shown arrested in the case.
The Mymensingh haul includes four grenades, 12 bombs of different sizes including a light-sensitive one, a sub-machine gun, 80 electric detonators, 20kg ammonium nitrate, gun powder, GI wire, lead azide, lead nitrate, electric circuits, batteries, fuses, snail shells and iron balls used in fishing nets.
Two cases -- one under the Arms Act and the other under the Explosive Substances Act -- were filed with Kotwali Police Station of Mymensingh.
JMB chief Shaek Abdur Rahman, its second-in-command Bangla Bhai and its military commander Ataur Rahman Sunny were also accused in the cases, but their names were dropped from the charge sheet as they were earlier executed for killing two judges in Jhalakathi district on November 14, 2005.
|Jamaat out to foil war trial|
|[Bangla Daily Star] The three detained Jamaat-e-Islami stalwarts yesterday disclosed during interrogation that they took up a three-month-long campaign across the country to foil the move of trying the war criminals of 1971.|
Interestingly, the Jamaat leaders, against whom there is ample evidence of atrocity during the Liberation War, have also formed a committee to prepare a list of war criminals.
"The committee has already prepared a list of 50 war criminals which mostly contains the names of Awami League leaders," said the official seeking anonymity.
For their campaign, Jamaat has also formed a 10-member committee headed by one of the party central leader who happens to be a Supreme Court lawyer. The committee's task is to make the campaign a success involving "intellectuals".
During interrogation, Jamaat Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami was also questioned about the statement he made in 2004 that "there is no existence of Bangla Bhai, it is a fictitious character created by a section of the media".
Nizami was the chief of Al-Badar, a militia formed with local collaborators of the then occupying Pakistani army to eliminate the intellectuals of Bangladesh in 1971.
Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, the executed second-in command of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), in an interview with The Daily Star in May 2004 claimed that he was a Shibir member till 1995.
The interrogators also questioned the Jamaat trio about their alleged link with JMB. The trio made the mention of JMB Majlish-e-Sura member Shahed who is now studying at a university in Saudi Arabia.
"We wanted to know how Shahed got admitted to the university when none from Bangladesh is enrolled in the university without the recommendation of Jamaat leaders," said the official.
The interrogators also questioned former industries minister Nizami about 1,182 tonnes of rock sulphur, a bomb making ingredient, which was removed from Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Factory Ltd during the BNP-Jamaat coalition government through fake invoice.
JMB member Mohammad Salafi was the storekeeper of the fertiliser factory and the intelligence department believes that the stolen consignment was destined for JMB.
Asked if he had influenced the investigation of the consignment, Nizami denied the allegation.
Meanwhile, sources said JMB member Shaikat, now in DB custody, refused to offer prayers standing behind Nizami Sunday night saying that he would not offer his prayers standing behind a man who "wrongly explains" Islam.
|JMB chief Saidur held|
|[Bangla Daily Star] Police have arrested JMB chief Maulana Saidur Rahman, his wife and three other top leaders of the banned Islamist outfit. |
They made the arrests in the capital and Narayanganj on Monday and early yesterday.
Besides Saidur alias Zafar, the others detained are his third wife Naima Akhter, JMB's military coordinator Amir Hossain alias Sharif and ehsar (full-time) members Nur Hossain alias Sabuj and Abdullah Hel Kafi.
During the raids, the cops recovered a huge cache of bomb-making materials, firearms and ammunition and jihadi books.
The arrestees except Naima were paraded before the media at the police headquarters yesterday afternoon.
There, Inspector General of Police Nur Mohammad said several militant organisations are still operative in the country and they might have an alliance.
Replying to a query, he said that since militancy is now a global phenomenon, Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh might have connections with militant groups in neighbouring countries.
He also said they are trying to gather if JMB has a suicide squad.
The police chief claimed they arrested Saidur, his wife and ehsar member Abdullah Hel Kafi at a house in the city's East Dania on Monday night.
A team drawing members from the police headquarters, DMP, SB, Criminal Investigation Department and Detective Branch conducted the swoops, he added.
Some sources in law enforcement agencies however say police arrested the JMB chief at least three days before they made the news public yesterday.
Additional IGP (admin) NBK Tripura, Special Branch (SB) chief additional IGP Zaved Patwary, additional IGP (rector) Naim Ahmed and Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner AKM Shahidul Hoque were present at the press conference.
A handout issued by the police headquarters later said military wing coordinator Amir Hossain alias Sharif and ehsar member Nur Hossain were picked up from Sharif's house at Painadi in Narayanganj early yesterday.
A live bomb fitted to a belt usually worn by suicide squad members, several belts, one pistol, two magazines, hand-made bullets and a huge amount of explosives and bomb-making equipment were recovered from Sharif's house and a large stash of leaflets and jihadi books from Saidur's possession.
Saidur took over as JMB boss in February 2006, shortly after the arrest of Shaekh Abdur Rahman, the then JMB supremo.
The same month that year, Rapid Action Battalion raided his Shibganj house in Sylhet and recovered huge explosives.
Saidur had long been on the run. In absentia, he had been sentenced to 14 years in jail in an explosives case.
The IGP said JMB's organisational strength had waned much after the execution of Shaekh Abdur Rahman and other top brass. But in recent months, the organisation has been regrouping its cadres.
Since the serial blasts across the country in 2005, the law enforcers arrested over 600 JMB leaders and activists.
Of them, Shaekh Abdur Rahman, his deputy Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, Rahman's brother Ataur Rahman Sunny, brother-in-law Abdul Awal, suicide bomber Iftekhar Hasan Mamun and Majlis-e-Shura member Khaled Saifullah were executed on March 29, 2008 for killing two Jhalakathi judges on November 14, 2005.