Four suspected Islamic State–inspired extremists ‘surrendered’ to Rapid Action Battalion members on Sunday afternoon after a team of RAB cordoned a house located in Chourabali area of Ashulia, on the outskirt of Dhaka, since early Sunday suspecting it was a hideout of extremists.
The battalion identified the four youths as Mozammel Hoque, Rashedunnabi, Irfanul Islam and Alamgir Hossain and branded them as members of Tamim-Sarwar faction of banned extremist outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh. Mozammel was their team leader, the officials said.
The Islamic State-inspired faction is also branded by other units of police as ‘Neo-JMB’ which was led by Bangladeshi-Canadian Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, who was killed in a joint operation in Naraynaganj on August 27, 2016, along with two of his followers.
Tamim is also branded as key figure in plotting stack on Holey Artisan café in Gulshan on July 1, 2016, which left 29 people including 17 foreigners killed.
Sarwar Jahan was killed during a raid in Ashulia on October 8, 2016.
At about 2:30pm on the spot, the RAB’s legal and media wing director, Mufti Mahmud Khan, said the four were followers of Tamim-Sarwar faction of JMB and they were plotting subversive activities in the area.
They hired the house one-month-and- a-half ago identifying themselves as apparel workers and the drive was conducted on the basis of intelligences from different agencies.
He said the extremists would be quizzed to get more information about their plans.
The battalion personnel cordoned-off the house at Chourabali in Pathalia union at about 1:00am, said the RAB officials.
Inhabitants of the nearby houses were evacuated while the residents of the suspected house were asked to surrender to the law enforcers.
The battalion officials said the extremists shot at least five rounds of fire at about 3:00am.
They also opened fire targeting the battalion members some time before 7:00am when RAB also retaliated, the officials said.
Several gunshots were heard since morning, especially at about 11:30am.
At about 12:00 noon, RAB spokesperson said two suspected extremists surrendered to them and one surrendered after a while and finally another surrendered.
In the afternoon, after a search the battalion said none was found inside the house and their bomb disposal unit was working to dispose of the explosives.
The battalion said they found and seized three pistols and their magazines, three explosives, large number of books inspiring extremism, eight compact discs, and laptop from the house.
Ibrahim, the owner of the house, was taken into RAB’s custody and being interrogated.
A village policeman Tota Miah said he hardly saw people coming out of the house but one day he saw there was a woman working inside the house, which was little away from other houses of the neighbourhood.
It was not clear in what circumstances the extremist suspects surrendered to the elite force.
No other police agencies including from Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime, and Police Bureau of Investigation, were allowed to enter the crime scene.
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