Bangladesh’s elite security force today arrested four militants, including a top regional head of a homegrown Islamist extremist group blamed for the country’s worst terror attack on a cafe here in which 22 people, mostly foreigners, were killed.
The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) raided a hideout of militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in Gazipur’s Tongi this morning and arrested the four militants.
Mahmudul Hassan Tanvir, the ‘Amir’ of the group’s southern region was among the arrested persons, the RAB spokesperson said.
The other three have been identified as Ashiqul Akbar Abesh, Najmus Shakib and Rahmatullah Shuvo.
RAB’s media wing Director Mufti Mahmud Khan said a huge quantity of weapons, ammunition and bomb-making material have been recovered from the house.
Khan said the RAB swung into action after receiving a tip-off that the four were present in a building.
Khan said these four had taken shelter in the house before Eid during Ramadan and that the house was used for training JMB recruits.
He said eight bombs and bomb-making material, a pistol, a magazine, more than 100 rounds of ammunition, eight machetes and some jihadi literature have been seized from the house.
Security forces have been looking JMB hideouts since the July 1 attack on Holey Artisan Bakery that left 22 people, including an Indian-origin girl dead.
The six gunmen were killed by army commandos who stormed the cafe the next morning.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the deadly attack, but the government denied their presence in Bangladesh, saying homegrown JMB militants were responsible for the assault.