Police have thwarted a Neo JMB plan to carry out militant attacks on law enforcers during Eid-ul-Adha to create panic among the mass people.
Monirul Islam, chief of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), revealed the information at a press conference at the DMP media centre on Friday.
The CTTC on Thursday arrested a group of five members of Neo JMB.
The police came to know that the militants have links with the “Wolf Pack,” a group of terrorists who plan attacks on members of law enforcement agencies globally at a convenient time, said Monirul Islam.
The arrestees are Mohammad Shibli Shahazad alias Sadee, Shah M Asadullah Mortuza Kabir alias Ababil, Masrik Ahmed, Md Ashraful Al Amin alias Tareq, and SM Tanim Rifat. All of them are between 25 and 30 years of age.
Among them, Sadee and Ababil are students of business faculty at North South University. The arrestees belong to middle and lower-middle class families, Monirul informed.
The CTTC also seized 10 pieces of detonators, bomb-making materials, five mobile phone sets and four gas cans of the brand Sun from their possession, he said.
What was the plan?
The “wolf pack” group planned to carry out militant attacks on law enforcement agencies during Eid-ul-Adha to create panic among the people, said Monirul.
To this end, they also collected elements to make improvised explosive devices (IED).
Monirul claimed that Sadee was the mastermind of the planned attack while the rest were associating him.
Sadee had collected a number of explosives which apparently look very similar to the IEDs recently recovered near police booths at Paltan, Malibagh and Khamarbari areas.
The bomb disposal division of the CTTC will investigate the issue, Monirul said.
Ababil is the spiritual leader of the “wolf pack” and was trying to collect funds for the attack. He has already collected some money from international funders whose identities were not immediately known.
Among others, Masrik was assigned to collect and carry arms to Dhaka, crossing border areas of Jashore. Tareq and Rifat, on the other hand, were in charge of increasing members in the group.
All the group members were connected through an encrypted application named Secret Chat.
There are several other members in the group whose identities might be known once these five are put on remand, Monirul said.
Why the plan to attack
The group was trying to carry out an attack on police in revenge of the damage they had suffered after the Holey Artisan attack on July 1, 2016.
Most of the existing militants have been either arrested or killed in different drives since the incident.
These militants were planning to show that they have recovered their lost strength in this period, Monirul said.
They also tried to destroy the psychological strength of the police, Monirul said, adding that their target was to create panic among mass people, too.
No attack threat during Eid
Monirul, however, assured that there is no immediate threat of any militant attack before or after Eid-ul-Adha.
Asked if the Kashmir issue could instigate local militants, he said they have no capacity to create turbulence in the country right now.
“After the attacks in New Zealand and thereafter in Sri Lanka, there were several threats in Bangladesh during this Eid-ul-Fitr. But law enforcers handled it very successfully and the vested groups could not fulfil their mission,” Monirul said.
In reply to another question about the possibility of Rohingyas turning into militants, Monirul said they are closely monitoring the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar to prevent any such possibility.