JMB camp busted
Rab finds the training facility deep inside Khagrachhari forests; Ctg second-in-command held; explosives seized.
Rapid Action Battalion has busted a training camp of Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh in a remote hill area in Khagrachhari and arrested five militants in last two days.
The crime-busters raided the training facility at Matiranga under Khagrachhari district on Friday.
During the swoop, they arrested Abdur Rahim alias Saifullah, second-in-command of Chittagong division JMB, and seized powdered explosives, 14 grenade casings, 20 detonators, 49 books on jihad, 27 batteries and around 1 kg barbed wire.
In follow-up operations yesterday, Rab arrested four JMB cadres–Delwar Hossain alias Sajib, 32, and Yunus Ali alias Yunus, 20, at Shantipur of Matiranga, Delwar Hossain Dulal, 23, in Gazipur and Monir alias Ripon, 25, in Comilla.
The arrestees were paraded before the media at a press briefing at the Rab headquarters in Uttara yesterday afternoon.
Speaking to reporters there, Rahim said he, Naim and Majlish-e-Shura member Osman alias Shahid had planned an attack on BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia during her election campaign in Comilla last year.
Of them, Naim was nabbed by Rab. Though he and Osman managed to slip through the dragnet, their plan for assault on the former prime minister failed, he added.
At the briefing, Rab’s Additional Director General Col Mizanur Rahman Khan said, “It took us around eight months of intelligence work to trace the camp in deep forest.”
He said the camp, which has three earthen and tin-shed rooms, was not complete for training yet.
Rahim was building it on four acres of land purchased in the name of farming. Sajib, one of the arrestees, who owns a poultry farm in the area, had helped in the purchase.
Osman oversaw things in this regard on instructions from the outfit’s present head Saidur Rahman.
“Naim, who was arrested at Chandina in Comilla last year, told us JMB had been shifting its training facilities to far-flung hills, and since then we have been keeping a close watch on the areas,” Col Mizan said.
Around eight months back, the JMB bought the Matiranga land for around Tk 2 lakh.
“JMB activities are getting limited. We are closing in on those still at large and hope to arrest its current chief soon,” he added.
Rahim, who is also known as Zahid, Habib and Saiful, said he joined JMB in 2004. He fled to Matiranga and took a job at Sajib’s poultry farm after the countrywide blasts the following year.
A Rab press release said he is a key member of the JMB suicide squad. He hurled a bomb on the Rab team during the Comilla raid last year and ran away.
He stands accused in three cases filed in this connection.
At the briefing, Rab officials said Moulana Saidur Rahman’s son Bashar plays a key role in running the organisation.
Seven members of Shura, highest policymaking body, are Shiblu alias Shishir, Sohel Mahfuz of Kushtia, Mehedi alias Abir of Barguna, Nazmul alias Bhagne Shahid of Natore, Osman alias Shahid of Comilla, Sayeem of Dhaka and Mahmud alias Asad of Panchagarh.
Of them, Shishir is in charge of the military wing, Sohel Mahfuz dawat (invitation) department, Mehedi southern districts, Nazmul northern region, Osman Chittagong division and Sayeem takes care of the IT wing.
The duties assigned to Mahmud could not yet be known.
Mostafiz alias Siddique of Gazipur works as an adviser to the banned outfit.