New JMB recruiter Mahbubur Rahman Selim, who has been wanted by police for over a year, is already in Chittagong Central Jail under the alias Mahbubur Rahman Khokon.
Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) chief Deputy Inspector General Banaz Kumar Majumder told the Dhaka Tribune: “We have succeeded in locating Selim, who is in Chittagong Central Jail under the name Khokon. PBI’s Chittagong unit will plea before the court to take Selim in fresh remand, so that more information about New JMB’s finances and organisational structure may be collected.”
Selim is the main associate of mid-level New JMB leader and bomb expert Lokman Ali alias Sohel Rana, who blew himself up along with his wife and five kids at Nasirpur in Moulvibazar during Operation Hit Back on March 30.
According to the Police Bureau of Investigation, Selim was arrested on October 5, 2015, in a case for his part in a robbery and murder at the Shah Corporation in Chittagong. The crimes in question took place on September 24 the same year.
However, law enforcement agencies have been scouring the country for the notorious militant, who is suspected to be the recruiter for New JMB’s suicide squad.
While Selim was primarily in charge of recruitment for the militant outfit’s suicide brigade, Sohel Rana trained the recruits in a clay house situated in the remote hills of Baishari’s Lombabil Khorolia Mora area of Bandarban, said police sources.
They added that militants arrested or killed at the recent raids in Ashkona, Sitakunda, Sylhet, Comilla and Moulvibazar were all recruited by Selim and trained by Sohel.
Selim hails from Ichhanagar of the Karnaphuli area in Chittagong. Under order of New JMB Chittagong Coordinator Sohel, he purchased the clay-made house at Baishari for Tk1.60 lakh in 2012.
During the September 2015 robbery, Shah Corporation Manager Satya Gopal Bhowmik was killed along with two of the robbers – Rafiq and Rabiul. Two other robbers, New JMB Chittagong Divisional Commander Raisul Islam Khan alias Fardin and his associate Piyas, were injured while fleeing the scene as they detonated explosives to cover their retreat.
The slain Rafiq was the younger brother of Selim, in whose house the injured militants took shelter. Another militant, Bulbul Ahmed alias Fuad, escorted the robbers to the Alangkar intersection in the port city and hired a microbus for the two of them to travel to Dhaka. Militant Fuad holds ties with Selim through marriage to the latter’s niece, Rupa.
Chittagong Metropolitan Police’s Detective Branch traced the location of the militants to Khowajnagar during the investigation into the Shah Corporation robbery and murder cases.
From the den, DB arrested 28-year-old militant recruiter Selim, his brother Shahjahan alias Kajol, Fuad, New JMB’s Commander Javed and bomb expert Minhazul Islam Sajid. Javed was later killed during a gunfight with police in another drive when trying to escape.
PBI Chittagong’s sources said the four other arrestees of Khowajnagar’s den were investigated while the “innocent-looking” Khokon escaped suspicion.
However, in recent investigations by the PBI, Selim’s true identity as a New JMB recruiter for the suicide squad was revealed. In addition, they uncovered that New JMB leader Fardin regularly visited the militant training ground in Baishari that was run by Selim and Sohel.
Furthermore, arrested militants from raids in Comilla and Chittagong this March said that New JMB’s Chief Coordinator Mainul Islam Musa and militants Imtiaz Hossain Omi, Ayat, Rahid, Jahirul, Surat Alam alias Hasan and Kamal Hossain had gone through the training centre, among many others.
In addition, the October 5 arrest was not the first time that Selim had run into police. On May 25, 2014, some armed terrorists in the hilly regions of Chittagong had kidnapped the militant recruiter, Fardin and banker Jitendra Kishor Dev.
Police rescued the trio and took a picture of them at the time. PBI came across the picture in their recent investigations and used it to confirm Selim’s identity as a New JMB recruiter, said PBI Chittagong unit’s Inspector Sontos Kumar Chakma.