Dhaka Bombing Mastermind in police custody
|By Chandan Sarkar|
Aug 27, Dhaka: The Police Department in Dhaka, has revealed the man behind the Café attack in Dhaka. According to them,the Canadian-Bangladeshi Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, had orchestrated the July 1 attack on the upscale Holey Artisan Bakery and O' Kitchen restaurant in Dhaka’s diplomatic zone.
Earlier this month, a reward of Tk 2 million was announced for information leading to his arrest.According to intelligence officials, the 30-year-old had been in Bangladesh since 2013 after he was reported missing from Canada.
After the attacks last month at Dhaka's Gulshan and Kishoreganj's Sholakia, a small sleepy town that hosts Bangladesh’s largest Eid congregation, police have been conducting search operations across the country for hideouts used by militants.During a routine search in late July, police came under attack from militants holed up in an apartment at Dhaka's Kalyanpur. A SWAT team later stormed the apartment when nine suspected militants were gunned down.
On Saturday morning, a gunfight erupted after police had begun a similar raid on a building at Narayanganj city.
Narayanganj's Superintendent of Police (SP) Moinul Haque told bdnews24.com that a Counter-terrorism Unit team from Dhaka was leading the raid at a three-storey building at the city's Pikeparha.They were joined later by members of police and the elite unit Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).
Around 9:30am, gunshots were heard when Additional SP Faruk Hossain told reporters at the scene that police were approaching the entrance to the building after a stand-off since early morning.
After the gunfight, which lasted for an hour, Counter-terrorism Unit's Additional Deputy Commissioner Sanowar Hossain told bdnews24.com three persons, including Tamim, have been killed during the raid.The unit's chief Monirul Islam also confirmed to bdnews24.com that one of those gunned down was Tamim, but the two others were yet to be identified.
"We found out about this hideout on information obtained from an arrested operative of the JMB (Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh)," he said.
Police said the militants had set fire to the building as soon as law-enforcers moved to enter the building."We suspect it to be an attempt to destroy important documents in their possession," said Narayanganj's Additional SP Hossain.At a media conference earlier this month, Bangladesh Police chief AKM Shahidul Hoque said Tamim's arrest could lead to significant information on operations of the 'Neo-JMB'.
Tamim’s name came up on the list of 10 “missing” people released by the authorities after it emerged that Gulshan café killers and the Sholakia attackers had been reported by their families to police as missing.
International media reports, citing several Islamic State publications, have described him as the coordinator of Middle East-based group’s Bangladesh operations.The Bangladesh authorities, however, maintain that Tamim led the 'Neo-JMB', which emerged after the JMB split. They also rule out any connection between the outfit and the Islamic State.Police said Tamim had planned and supervised the Jul 1 attack on the upscale café in Gulshan, when 22 people, including 17 foreigners and two police officers, were killed.
Counter-terrorism Unit chief Islam had told the media earlier this month that Tamim came to Bangladesh in 2013 via Dubai and had been untraceable since then.
Tamim’s family hails from the northeastern Bangladesh district of Sylhet.His father Shafi Ahmed Chowdhury, who was a mariner, immigrated to Canada in the early 1970s.Earlier this month, police had announced rewards of Tk 2 million (US$ 25,000) each on him and dismissed Bangladesh Army major Syed Md Ziaul Haque, who the police claim leads another banned militant group the Ansarullah Bangla Team.
The Oslo Times International News Network