The Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit has identified 15 suspects, including three women of wealthy families, of a faction of banned Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh involved in the blast at Hotel Olio International at Panthapath in Dhaka on August 15, 2017.
One of the attackers was killed in the blast.
‘We have completed the investigation identifying 15 persons and now are waiting for the approval from the government,’ said additional commissioner Monirul Islam, who heads counter terrorism unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, at a press conference.
Monirul claimed they had found no direct connections between the faction of JMB and any international extremist outfit but there were ideological similarity.
Of the 15, Monirul identified Akram Hossain Khan Niloy as the plotter of the attack on hotel near Bangabandhu Bhaban pn Dhanmondi road 32, where people pay respect to the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujubur Rahman and his family on the national mourning day.
Monirul said Niloy was organising the faction of JMB after deaths of their top leaders including Tamim Chowdhury, an Islamic State-inspired Bangladeshi Canadian who was killed in August 2016.
‘Niloy went abroad and returned home and tried to continue their organisational activities,’ said Monirul. He said out of the 15 suspects, 14 were arrested while suicide bomber Saiful Islam was killed in the blast of August 15, 2017.
All the 14 suspects were supporters of the spirit of the international extremist outfit [Islamic State] and they believed that they would be allowed to communicate with them [IS] if they could carry out a massacre on that day, Monirul said.
Monirul said Tanvir Yaseen Karim, Abu Turab Khan, Sadia Hosna Lucky, Humaira Zakir Nabila and Tazrin Khanam Shuvo were financers of the attack.
He said Nazmul Hasan Mamun was the bomb-maker which went off on that day and Abul Kashem Fakir and Tajul Islam Choton supplied raw materials.
Newly converted Abdullah, Kamrul Islam Shakil, Tarek Mohammad Adnan and Abdullah Ichan Kabiraj provided shelter to the extremist and patronised them for the attack, the CTTC chief detailed.
Monirul claimed said Saiful Islam, who was killed in the blast, was a support of Islami Chhatra Shibir, a pro-Jamaat student body, but held no post in the organisation.
All but Saiful were arrested and 10 of them made statement before the magistrate under Section 164 of Code of Criminal Procedure.
Monirul sought assistance in countering extremism and asked to keep alert considering international, regional and national contexts.
During the investigation, the CTTC officials said Niloy wanted to move to Syria along with his parents and sister to join the IS but could not make it as the Turkish embassy in Dhaka refused their visas.
The investigators also said Niloy also tried to get a visa from India for himself and sneaked into India illegally to manage an Indian passport.
But before his passport was issued, one of his associates was arrested by Indian police, the Bangladeshi official said, adding Niloy returned to Bangladesh and was arrested in early 2018.
One of colleagues of Monirul told New Age that they were worried about Akram Hossain Khan Niloy as he continued to reach out to his followers living in the jail.
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