Sunday, February 25, 2024

Chief of JMB’s new offshoot captured

They had a plan to establish control over a zone comprising 3 northern districts
Special Branch (SB) of Police in Gazipur arrested Abdur Rahim alias Shahadat, the chief organiser of “Islam and Muslim”, a new offshoot of banned Islamist militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).
During a raid late Tuesday night, the intelligence officials along with local police also arrested Sajedur Rahman alias Hanif, a regional commander of the new organisation. According to the SB, Islam and Muslim had a plan to dominate an area comprised of several upazilas of Chapainawabganj, Rajshahi and Naogaon.
The intelligence officials also seized some books on Jihad during their drive.
Following information gleaned from the two arrestees, the SB’s anti-militancy unit captured Jalaluddin alias Jalal, Bagmara upazila JMB commander, at the once JMB-infested Bagmara in Rajshahi with an Indian single-shot gun and five rifle bullets.
On June 28, SB officials had arrested Mostafizur Rahman Montu, a close aide to executed militant kingpin Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, at Fakirerpool in the capital.
The SB disclosed the arrests of the militants and seizures of the arms and books yesterday calling in journalists to its city office and handing them a statement that contained information on the arrests. The arrestees were also paraded before journalists.
Shahadat along with Selim, a leader of JMB, formed Islam and Muslim following their disagreement with some influential JMB leaders over financial matters, according to the SB statement.
However, Shahadat told journalists, “We started the outfit organising work around four months ago in an attempt to have our contribution in the country. We contacted around 15 people asking them to join.”
SB officials said Shahadat was made the chief of Bagmara after Bangla Bhai made the upazila an organisational district. He actively took part in the Bangla Bhai-led vigilante operations in Rajshahi region under the banner of Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB) in 2004.
The three other arrestees were also close aides to Bangla Bhai. But due to his organisational capability, Shahadat was made the JMB commander of the greater Rajshahi region.
The SB officials also said Shahadat fled to India after the arrests of former JMB chief Abdur Rahman and his deputy Bangla Bhai. He played a key role in strengthening the JMB’s wing in India during his two-and-a-half-years stay in Murshidabad, Nadia and Maldah districts of West Bengal state.
“On his return, Shahadat formed the Islam and Muslim with an aim to dominate an area comprised of Gomastapur, Shibganj and Bholahat upazilas of Chapainawabganj, Bagmara of Rajshahi and Raninagar and Atrai of Naogaon,” said the SB statement.
For their attempt to this end, the JMB members opted to wage an armed struggle (Jihad) with small arms rather than their usual usage of bombs. The newly-formed organisation also started training their members on arms and bullet manufacturing, the statement said.
Asked how he learned to make arms and bullets, Shahadat told The Daily Star that he does not know how to make them.
Police earlier arrested four other members of the JMB offshoot in Shibganj, Bholahat and Gomastapur upazilas of Chapainawabganj and seized four single-shot guns from each of them, bullets, books on jihad and bullet-making materials.
The arrestees are Abdul Munib, Abdul Mumin, Abdul Rakib alias Sumon, and Rabiul Islam.
Our Dinajpur correspondent adds: Rapid Action Battalion arrested Enamul Haque, 22, a JMB member and a charge-sheeted accused in a murder case, at Kalai upazila of Joypurhat yesterday morning.
Police said Enamul was conducting JMB activities from hiding.

Courtesy of The Daily Star

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