An extremist suspect who, among others, allegedly had involvement in the Holey Artisan attack, was arrested at Shibganj in Chapainawabganj early Saturday along with three others.
Two of his associates were also held in Dhaka.
The suspect, Abdus Sabur Khan, 34, who had numerous aliases including Shohel Mahfuz, Shohail Mahfuz, Nasirullah, Suhail, Hathkata and Sahadat Seikh, was also wanted by Indian National Investigation Agency over an explosion in a rented house at Khagragarh under Burdwan Police Station of West Bengal on October 2, 2014.
The Indian authorities branded him as a member of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen of Bangladesh and had announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh for any information leading to his arrest.
Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police chief Monirul Islam said, ‘He (Sabur) participated in the meeting which [held in Gaibandha in April 2016] had endorsed the Gulshan attack.’
He said the ‘neo-JMB’s’ northern area commander Shohel would be produced in metropolitan magistrate court in Dhaka today in connection with the Holey Artisan attack seeking his remand.
Monirul said Shohel and three of his associates were captured in a joint operation by police from its headquarters, Bogra and Chapainawabganj about 2:30am.
Monirul claimed the extremists were at a makeshift hut inside a privately owned mango orchard at Puskani of Shibganj.
The arrest was made just a few days after inspector general of police AKM Shahidul Hoque declared on July 2 that extremist leaders would be captured soon.
The officials said that grown up as an extremist, Sabur, mostly known as Shohel Mahfuz, was one of the founding members of the JMB in the early 2000s and sneaked into India by 2006.
During his staying in India, Shohel used to lead Indian front of the JMB.
The CTTC officials said Shohel returned to Bangladesh by December 2014 and joined hands with Bangladeshi-Canadian Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, a coordinator of Islamic State-inspired faction of the JMB, who was killed in a joint operation in Naraynaganj on August 27, 2016, along with two of his fellows.
Monirul said Shohel lost his right wrist in an explosion during their operation against left extremist in Baghmara of Rajshahi. He said Shohel had a gap with the JMB’s main faction leadership and used to contribute to the IS-inspired faction from the bordering district.
‘Extensive interrogation is required,’ said Monirul, who was flanked by DMP spokesperson deputy commissioner Masudur Rahman and CTTC deputy commissioner Mohibul Islam Khan.
Shohel is from Sadipur Kablipara in Shilaidah of Kumarkhali of Kushtia.
The DMP officials said that they also arrested three others with Shohel — JMB’s information technology specialist Hafijur Rahman Hasan, 28, of Chapainawabganj, their arms supplier Jewel and the group’s Rajshahi-Chapainawabganj-Natore coordinator Mustafa Kamal Jamal, also a mason.
Meanwhile, the CTTC officials said they captured Al Amin and Ahsan Habib in a separate operation at Dhamrai and Savar in Dhaka for their alleged connection with the JMB.
In reply to a query, the CTTC chief said Indian authorities would be allowed to interrogate if it was required in connection with the Khagragarh blast.
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