6 ex­trem­ists held over deadly at­tacks

The Myanmar Times - - World -

BANGLADESH po­lice said yes­ter­day they had ar­rested six mem­bers of banned Is­lamist groups blamed for a se­ries of deadly at­tacks, in­clud­ing the main sus­pect in the grue­some killing of a sec­u­lar pub­lisher.

Moinul Is­lam Shamim was ar­rested on the night of Au­gust 23 just out­side of Dhaka for al­legedly lead­ing the fa­tal hack­ing at­tack on pub­lisher Faisal Are­fin Di­pan in his of­fice last year.

“Shamim is the main ac­cused in the Di­pan mur­der. Po­lice had an­nounced a re­ward for any in­for­ma­tion lead­ing to his ar­rest,” deputy com­mis­sioner of Dhaka po­lice Mas­ruk Khaled said.

Mr Shamim “ad­mit­ted dur­ing in­ter­ro­ga­tion” to his in­volve­ment in the Oc­to­ber mur­der of Mr Di­pan who was a known pub­lisher of books by sec­u­lar and athe­ist writ­ers, Mr Khaled said.

Mr Shamim is a sus­pected mem­ber of home­grown ex­trem­ist group An­sarul­lah Bangla Team, which swears al­le­giance to a lo­cal branch of al-Qaeda and has claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for sim­i­lar mur­ders of about a dozen sec­u­lar ac­tivists.

The elite Rapid Ac­tion Bat­tal­ion also stormed two hide­outs on the out­skirts of Dhaka and ar­rested five sus­pected mem­bers of banned Is­lamist out­fit Ja­mayetul Mu­jahideen Bangladesh (JMB), in­clud­ing one of its lead­ers who used to study in Canada.

“They in­clude Rashe­duz­za­man who took over as the JMB’s re­gional chief re­cently. He stud­ied in a Cana­dian univer­sity be­tween 2006 and 2012,” RAB spokesper­son Mufti Mah­mud Khan said.

The gov­ern­ment has blamed the JMB for the July 1 at­tack on a Dhaka cafe in which 20 hostages, in­clud­ing 18 for­eign­ers, were killed along with two po­lice­men.

Mean­while, po­lice have ab­ducted the son of a top war crimes con­vict, his fam­ily said.

More than 30 plain­clothes of­fi­cers seized Ab­dul­lahil Amaan Azmi, for­merly a dec­o­rated bri­gadier gen­eral in the army, from his home in Dhaka on Au­gust 22, his fam­ily said.

Mr Azmi’s fa­ther, Ghu­lam Azam, the for­mer head of the largest Is­lamist party Ja­maat-e-Is­lami (JeI), was sen­tenced to 90 years in pri­son in 2013 for war crimes dur­ing the 1971 in­de­pen­dence war against Pak­istan. He died in pri­son in 2014.

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