The video features the martyrdom statements of the five Gulshan attackers, while the article was ostensibly written by Abu Dujanah al-Bengali (real name Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury) – infamous dead people speaking from their graves warning and threatening about the next major IS attack.
What the video (released on September 23, via Arabic Nashir) and the article (published on October 4, in Rumiyah magazine) have in common is the ominous promise of continual attacks against the “kuffar” (disbelievers), “murtadin” (apostates), “taghut” (proponents of the secular state) and “crusaders” (foreigners) in Bangladesh. According to an infographics, published earlier in Naba magazine and now republished in Rumiyah, ISIS itself estimates that 42% of the victims of its attacks in Bangladesh are Hindus and Buddhists; 27% are Christians; 19% are apostates and atheists; 12% are Shia Muslims.
There is also the hint that attacks will now be reoriented more against foreigners. As Tamim Chowdhury put it in his article in Rumiyah: “Let the Crusader nations know that as long as they fight the Islamic State, their citizens will not be able to enjoy any peace and safety in any part of Bengal.”
But now that Tamim aka Abu Dujanah (former head of military and covert operations of the soldiers of the Khilafah in Bengal, as mentioned in Rumiyah) is dead (killed by the security forces in Narayanganj on August 27), who is in charge of coordinating the next series of attacks?
This is where we once again turn to Abu Ibrahim al-Hanif (pseudonym), the elusive ameer of IS in Bangladesh. Abu Ibrahim is the person who, in an interview published in the 14th issue of IS’ Dabiq magazine, gave an account of what ISIS aims to achieve in the “land of Bengal.” He is the person who is still in charge — the man behind the curtain, plotting the next act in the spectacle of brutality.
If the security czars in Bangladesh are serious about uprooting IS (Neo-JMB or New JMB, as identified by the police) and stopping the planned slaughter of religious minorities and foreigners, they must now focus on this man and try to reveal his real identity. The rumour that Tamim Chowdhury was Abu Ibrahim was started by a Bangladeshi journalist too close to the spooks, and later recycled without question by other journalists, researchers and officials.
This was despite the fact that Bangladeshi officials knew Tamim’s actual kunya, (jihadi nom de guerre) that he was not Abu Ibrahim al-Hanif but Abu Dujanah al-Bengali. As Sanwar Hossain of DMP’s counter-terrorism unit recently told the New York Times: “We have known for a while that this is how Tamim was referred to.”
In his Rumiyah article, Tamim Chowdhury quite possibly gave a hint about the timing of the next major attack by quoting a verse from the Qur’an (9:5): “And when the sacred months have passed, then kill the mushrikin wherever you find them and capture them and besiege them and sit in wait for them at every place of ambush.”
In 2016, Islamic sacred months will be over by the end of October. Is IS planning to strike again after that? Abu Ibrahim al-Hanif could have given us a clear answer. And, that is why he needs to be identified, fast.