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Police hunting Ansarullah ‘big brothers’

  • Published at 07:15 pm August 25th, 2016
Police hunting Ansarullah ‘big brothers’
The names of some “big brothers” were gleaned from Shamim alias Sifat alias Samir alias Imran during remand in custody. “Now the police are conducting drives to arrest the ‘big brothers’ who were involved in planning and training of some killing missions, including publisher Dipan murder,” DB Deputy Commissioner (south) Mashrukur Rahman Khaled told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday. During primary interrogation, Shamim admitted to have meeting Maj (sacked) Syed Md Ziaul Haque, the military commander of Ansarullah, for a couple of times. The government had earlier announced a bounty of Tk20 lakh on Zia. He was sacked from the army for his involvement in a failed coup in December, 2011. According to Shamim, Zia had given the team, that executed Dipan murder, motivational speeches on the necessities of waging an armed jihad. Ansarullah is believed to be representing al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) in Bangladesh. Its members have carried out 13 attacks since 2013 and killed 11 people including war crimes trial campaigners, secular writers and LGBT rights activists. A senior police officer, involved in Dipan murder probe, said that Shamim had also told the police about Mukul Rana alias Shariful alias Shakib alias Sharif alias Saleh alias Arif alias Hadi 1, the military and IT trainer of Ansarullah killed in a gunfight with police in Dhaka on June 19. Mukul Rana took part among others in the attack on secular writer Avijit Roy and his wife Rafida Ahmed Bonya on February 26, 2015. Apart from Zia, Shamim also gave information on some other “big brothers” of the outfit, which is now known as Ansar al-Islam including Sagar and Imtiaz (organisational name). Detainee Shamim gave information about one of his trainers Salim alias Iqbal alias Mamun alias Hadi 2 – a suspected accused in the murder of Nazimuddin Samad, Xulhaz-Tonoy, Dipan, Oyasiqur Rahman Babu and Niladri Niloy. Police had declared Tk5 lakh bounty for his arrest. Following the training, Shamim was made an important leader of Ansarullah Bangla Team, said the police official. Shamim hails from Madhabpur village under Chhatak of Sunamganj. He was a student of Sylhet’s Madan Mohan College. Chhatak police had arrested Shamim earlier in 2010 for distributing leaflets of banned militant outfit Hizb ut-Tahrir. He, however, was released on bail. He got involved with Ansarullah in 2014 upon an invitation by a person. He moved to Dhaka in mid-2014. His family had no idea about his activities, detectives said. Shamim rented a house at Uttara where he got training for around 3-4 months. Later he killed Shanto Mariam University student and music teacher Morshed Babu at Savar on January 4, 2015 and later took part in the attack on publisher Dipan on October 31. During the training sessions, Shamim said, the big brothers used to call for armed jihad to establish Khelafat.
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