• Wednesday, Aug 10, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

New JMB suicide squads trained in Baishari

New JMB suicide squads trained in Baishari
The militants who died during the operations at Chittagong, Sylhet, Comilla and Moulvibazar had all been trained by the same New Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) mid-level leader, say Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit investigators. According to the investigators, 40-year-old Sohel Rana, one of the militants of the Nasirpur, Moulvibazar den, was in charge of recruiting members for New JMB’s suicide squads and training them to become suicide bombers, at a mud house located in a remote hilly area in Baishari, Bandarban. Sohel, whose real name is Lokman Ali, was born in Dangapara village under Ghorahat, Dinajpur. In Baishari, he identified himself as Mosharraf Hossain, a rubber plantation worker and fabrics trader. CTTC sources say Sohel, the chief of New JMB’s Chittagong chapter, convinced one of his associates, Selim, to purchase land in Baishari’s Lombabil Khorolia Mora area where he then set up his operations in a four-room mud house. Over the past three years, Sohel had been living there and recruiting illiterate and underprivileged people from the neighbouring areas by preaching a misinterpreted version of Islam, said investigators. “Sohel was an expert bomb-maker and also trained his recruits to build bombs,” said an official of the Chittagong division Police Bureau of Investigation, seeking anonymity. During the interrogations of the recently arrested Comilla and Chittagong militants, investigators learned that New JMB chief coordinator Mainul Islam alias Musa and members Imtiaz Hossain Omi, Ayat, Rahid, Jahirul, Surat Alam alias Hasan, Kamal Hossain and many others would also provide training at the Baishari den. Chittagong district Superintendent of Police Nur-E-Alam Mina said: “One of the arrested, Hasan, confessed to us that Mainul Islam alias Musa was the chief coordinator of New JMB and that Sohel Rana was the chief of the Chittagong chapter and that they used to conduct trainings in Baishari.” The First Information Reports of the cases lodged with Sitakunda police station post-Operation Assault 16 also mentioned that Sohel, his wife and their cohorts Rashed and Hridoy were involved with New JMB. Ghorahat OC Israel Hossain told the Dhaka Tribune: “Lokman Ali alias Sohel Rana was a Shura member of the old JMB. He later joined New JMB.” He added that Sohel, or rather, Lokman, had been missing since 2007 and had been listed as one of the accused in a case filed under the Anti-Terrorism Act with Chapainawabganj’s Shibganj police station on October 25, 2008. A source from the Chapainawabganj Additional District and Sessions Judge’s Court confirmed this information, adding that two others who had been arrested in connection with the case, Rafiqul Islam and Hazrat Ali, had mentioned Lokman’s name in their confessional statements under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code. When questioned, Lokman’s father-in-law Abu Bakar Siddique said that Lokman, his wife Shirina Akhter alias Shahnaz, 30, and their daughters Amena Khatun, Sumaiya Akhter, Fatema, Mariam and Khadiza had been missing for the past 10 years. “On the night of March 29, my granddaughter Amena called me on my mobile. She was crying as she told me that we would not meet again. Shirina also spoke to me, asking for forgiveness for any mistakes she might have made,” recalled Abu Bakar. [caption id="attachment_56124" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Lokman Ali alias Sohel Rana, his wife Shirina Akhter alias Shahnaz, 30, and their daughters Amena Khatun, Sumaiya Akhter, Fatema, Mariam and Khadiza had been missing for the past 10 years Dhaka Tribune Lokman Ali alias Sohel Rana, his wife Shirina Akhter alias Shahnaz, 30, and their daughters Amena Khatun, Sumaiya Akhter, Fatema, Mariam and Khadiza had been missing for the past 10 years Dhaka Tribune[/caption] Shirina’s mother Jobaida Khatun said: “My son-in-law was a militant. He forced my daughter and granddaughters to join. He is a killer who took them away from me forever.” Lokman’s father Nurul Islam refused to answer questions. His sister Nurjahan, however, said: “My father is sick. We are still undecided about whether we will receive their bodies or not.” Another of his sisters, Nur Banu, said: “His sins have marked us all. What will become of us now? We had heard about his militancy several years ago and had tried to reason with him. That was the last contact we ever had with him.” When questioned about the identities of the dead militants, Chittagong Range Deputy Inspector General Md Shafiqul Islam said: “Since the militants do not use their given names within the organisation, we are trying to uncover all of their real identities.” “We collected DNA samples from all the dead militants, as well as picking up clues from the evidence collected from the Shibbari, Nasirpur and Borohat crime scenes. All information regarding the militants will be confirmed concretely after the final forensic and field investigations,” added Sylhet Range DIG Kamrul Ahsan. After the autopsies of the three Borohat militants were completed by Moulvibazar Sadar Hospital, CTTC Deputy Commissioner Muhibul Islam said investigators had potentially uncovered the identity of another militant, the bomb expert who had attempted to create a distraction during Operation Twilight at Atia Mahal in Shibbari. Investigators believe the militant’s name was Ashfaqullah and that he was from Sonaimuri, Noakhali.