The Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police has detained six suspected members of a faction of banned militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh – known as new JMB – from the New Market area in Dhaka.
Md Zahidul Islam alias Joha alias Bottle alias Masroor,23, Md Abu Bakar Siddique alias Abu Mohammad,19, Mohammadullah Adnan,19, Mehedi Hasan Emon alias Abu Hamza,21, Md Khalid Saifullah alias Abu Musab,19, and Md Shamsuddin Al Amin alias Abu Ahmed,22, were arrested on Sunday.
The court of Metropolitan Magistrate Nurunnahar Yesmin put them on a three-day remand each after they were produced before it.
Acting on a tip-off, CCTC members conducted a drive in the area around 3:35pm and arrested them while they were plotting to murder Ulemas (religious scholars) and carry out acts of sabotage, CTTC chief Monirul Islam told a press briefing at the DMP Media Centre on Monday.
Electronic gadgets including mobile phones, notebooks, and memory cards and various documents pertaining to militancy were seized from them.
During a primary interrogation, the arrestees confessed to having planned to kill progressive religious scholars who are opposing religious extremism and militant activities, the CTTC chief claimed.
“This is because Zahidul and Siddique were keeping an eye on a prominent Ulema’s house,” he said without mentioning the Ulema’s name.
They also admitted that they were carrying out militant activities according to orders of Ayub Bachchu alias Makhda alias Lalbhai, who is one of the leaders of new JMB, while another leader named Sadi Monirul alias Abu Jandal alias Abu Darda alias Abu was assisting them in implementation of the orders and supply of weapons, Monirul added.
He said: “Ayub Bachchu and Sadi are among five members of new JMB’s Sura board (policymaking body). We are trying to arrest the other three members including Sohel Mahfuz alias Hatkata Mahfuz,”
Asked about Bangladesh-based militant outfits’ response to the call, he said the local outfits were supporting and positively responding to this.
He also added that militants do not have organisational capacity to launch major attacks due to law enforcers’ active operations.