Vol. 5 Num 590 Wed. January 25, 2006  

JMB planned a 'major' bomb attack in Gaibandha
Arrested 'regional leader' Reaz tells police

Arrested JMB 'regional commander' and suicide squad member Reaz confessed to police yesterday that the Isamist militant outfit had a plan for a 'major' bomb attack in Gaibandha.

He told police during interrogation that he and five others came to Gaibandha, for a 'major bomb attack' like the August 17 serial blasts, police sources said.

Ziaur Rahman Badar alias Reaz Ahmed, 22, JMB 'regional commander' for Gaibandha and Joypurhat, was arrested by Rab (Rapid Action Battalion) during a raid on Ayub Ali Ansari Jame Mosque in front of Gaibandha circuit house in the early hours of Monday. A Rab team from Bogra made the raid, acting on a tip-off.

Rab also recovered two powerful live bomb and books on Islamic jihad from his possession. The bombs, tied with blue tape, are now in police custody. He is on seven days' remand.

On reaching Gaibandha, Reaz contacted with one Kamal, a militant in Shaghata Upazila, for chalking out a plan for the bomb attack, police said quoting him.

Reaz further told police that they (including three militants from Lalmonirhat and Kamal of Shaghata) were involved in the serial bomb blasts in Gaibandha on August 17. They were planning a 'second major bomb attack'.

They were in a discussion on their planned attack when Rab personnel raided the mosque and arrested him. The other militants including Kamal managed to flee.

Police suspect that other members of JMB suicide squad are also carrying bombs for heir planned attacks in the district. Police are now on high alert and hunting for the militants who escaped from the mosque.

Shaghata upazila in Gaibandha was a den of JMB activities. Locals said that two years ago, JMB and JMJB (Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh) held regular meetings and arranged training sessions for its activists in different mosques and madrasas. The two banned Islamist militant outfits recruited a large number of youths, mostly from poor families, from different areas in the district, earlier reports said.

They fled away from the dens after the government launched a crackdown on them, but are regrouping again, police sources said.

Meanwhile a court here dropped the names of alleged JMB activists from the August 17 serial bomb blast case in Gaibandha. They are Bangla Bhai's matchmaker Abdul Jalil of Akanderpara village in Shaghata upazila and Nooh Hakkani of Kholahati in Gaibandha Sadar upazila.

Both were arrested by police few days back and were released on bail.