Vol. 5 Num 464 Wed. September 14, 2005  
Front Page

More militants held with documents

Police in Narayanganj held two madrasa students and arrested three suspected militants while in Habiganj they seized computers, CDs and books from the business establishment of AHM Shamim, the arrested son of a former Jamaat leader of the district.

A large number of audiocassettes and books on jihad were seized during the raids in Narayanganj.

Meanwhile, intelligence officials have extracted some important information from Moulana Obaidur Rahman, brother of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) chief Abdur Rahman.

Detectives have gathered some information about a number of people who would frequent the bomb factories unearthed in Old Dhaka on Monday.

In other developments, two more suspects in August 17 serial blasts gave confessional statements to a magistrate in Satkhira yesterday.

Our Narayanganj correspondent reports: Police picked up two madrasa students from Fatullah area in Narayanganj and seized publications on militancy and a diary from a trunk they were carrying in a microbus.

Zakaria, 18, and Salam, 18, who study in Afsarul Alam Madrasa at Fatullah said their teacher Kefayetur Rahman Noman owns the trunk. He [Noman] has gone into hiding after the two got caught.

Earlier on Monday night, Fatullah police arrested three suspected members of banned militant outfit JMB at a students' mess in Shashwan Gaon area. They also seized seven audio cassettes and a good number of books on jihad.

The arrestees--Mehdi Hasan, 25, Shaju Main, 30, and Rafiqul Islam, 27-- are not members of the mess, said police.

Meanwhile, police and intelligence officials quizzing Moulana Obaidur Rahman, brother of JMB chief Abdur Rahman, gathered some important information from him, a police official said.

The source said the interrogators are trying to elicit from Obaidur the whereabouts of some top JMB leaders including Abdur Rahman and Ataur Rahman.

Biswas Afzal Hossain, superintendent of police (SP) in Jamalpur, said Obaidur still maintains that he has never been involved with JMB or its militant activities.

"We have got some important information from Obaidur, but we will not disclose those for the sake of investigation," the SP added.

Tofael Ahmed and Mamtaz Alam own the two factories where the detectives found machines, tools and raw materials for making bombs on Monday. The two were arrested the same day.

Detectives said it is difficult to trace the perpetrators of the August 17 blasts and those involved in hoarding explosives in Goran as they use different names on different occasions.

"We've got names of several people who used to visit the factories but to identify them seems difficult as they had been operating under false names," Shafiqul Islam, additional deputy commissioner (ADC) of Detective Branch (DB) of police, told The Daily Star yesterday.

"We've learnt several names of one man from different people."

The detectives are now concentrating on four people whose names have come up in the statements made by the two and Shammi Akhter, Abdus Samad's wife arrested with bomb-making materials last Thursday.

The four are believed to have been involved in the serial blasts and planning further blasts in the capital.

Samad's close associate and Ahle Hadith Andolon Bangladesh activist Tofael however has yet to disclose any information about Samad and his whereabouts. He along with Samad used to run Satata Machinery Industries, the bomb factory unearthed in Nawabpur.

He was being quizzed at the DB office yesterday on the first day of his seven-day remand.

He is producing the same story of not knowing beforehand anything about the August 17 bombings or Samad's plans to stage another round of attacks. "He maintains that he had met Shammi only once and that too was at her wedding with Samad," said DB ADC Shafiqul.

Tofael's mother Lailunnahar Begum yesterday told reporters that though her son has always performed Islamic rituals, he started sporting beard only after his acquaintance with Samad.

"I don't believe my son was with him [Samad] in those bombing things," she said.

The Court of Metropolitan Magistrate, Dhaka yesterday remanded Mamtaz Alam, owner of the bomb factory unearthed on Jagannath Saha Road in Lalbagh Monday.

Detectives yesterday produced him before the court with a petition for a 10-day remand, saying that he was involved in producing materials used to make bombs and grenades.

"He had been busy plotting a fresh spell of terrorist attacks. He needs to be quizzed to help us know who else were involved," they said in the forwarding report.

The court granted a seven-day remand.

Our Satkhira correspondent reports: Three arrestees -- Nasiruddin, Maniruzzaman Munna and Mahbubur Rahman Liton --, who have given confessional statements, said they took training at Bagmara in Rajshahi and in Chittagong.

The investigation officer (IO) in the Satkhira blasts case, CID Assistant Superintendent of Police Munshi Atiqur Rahman at a press briefing on Monday said the three got training at Obaidul Islam's sadar thana house and at training centres in Rupsha, Khulna.

The IO quoting the statements said they attended several meetings addressed by JMB chief Abdur Rahman, Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai and Harkatul Jihad chief Mufti Hannan in Satkhira about one year ago.

He also said they joined the JMB four years ago and have been engaged in militants activities since then. They also said in their statements there are over 5,000 activists in the district, the IO added.

Meanwhile, two more JMB cadres -- Gias Uddin and Monwar Hossain Ujjal -- gave statements to a Satkhira magistrate yesterday, confessing their links to the blasts.

Plainclothes men seized two computers and huge Islamic books and CDs on Monday night from a computer centre. Its owner, Shamim, son of a former district unit Jamaat-e-Islami president, was arrested in connection with the August 17 bombings, reports UNB.

Detectives led by Magistrate Porimal Singha raided IB Computer Training Centre at Tinkona Pukurpara in the town at about 11:00pm. They seized 120 CDs, seven Islamic books, two computers, one chequebook, one telephone diary and cash.

Shamim, arrested on September 7, is now on a 14-day remand in two cases filed with Sabujbagh Police Station in the capital.

Acting on his confessional statements, police have arrested five others along with bomb making materials, firearms, Islamic books and CDs at a house in Dhaka.

Our Rajshahi staff correspondent reports: Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) yesterday handed over two cadres of Bangla Bhai to police after arresting them in Puthia upazila on September 7.

Mosharraf Hossain, 37, of Kismat Zamira, and Abdul Hamid, 35, of South Zamira in Puthia were shown arrested in the blast case.

They used to collect toll on behalf of Jagrata Muslim Janata, Bangladesh (JMJB) and others from nearby districts collected the sum from them.

Rab sources said they could not gather more information from the two through interrogation.

Our Khulna staff correspondent adds: Abu Zafar, 23, a suspected Harkatul Jihad member and blasts suspect was arrested on Monday and taken on a four-day remand yesterday.

A college student, Zafar was also arrested in 2001 with a uniform of Afghan Taliban fighter and many booklets, which indicated his link to Islamist extremists. He was released from prison three months into his arrest.