2 Britons funded JMB to carry out bomb attacks |
Say top leaders Sunny, Awal
Chaitanya Chandra Halder and Shamim Ashraf
Two British citizens in June last gave £10,000 to Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) chief Abdur Rahman to carry out bomb attacks in Bangladesh, arrested JMB top guns Ataur Rahman Sunny and Abdul Awal confessed to two Dhaka magistrates yesterday.
The money was spent for buying explosive materials, making bombs and exploding them across the country, Sunny, younger brother of Abdur Rahman and military commander of the banned Islamist militant outfit, told
Metropolitan Magistrate Jahangir Alam. Sunny identified the two British citizens as Sajjad and Ataur Rahman, saying, "They are leaders of a London-based Islamic militant organisation."
He also admitted to killing judges, lawyers, policemen and common people by launching bomb attacks in a number of districts from October to December 2005 as commanded by Abdur Rahman and Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, operations chief of JMB's sister organisation, Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB).
"We carried out the bomb attacks to create a sense of disgust among people at the government, with the ultimate aim to unseat it," Sunny told the court. "Our aim was to topple the government through a mass upsurge, then capture the power and establish a rule of Islam," he added.
The JMB military chief also admitted to mounting attacks on some frontline NGOs on Abdur Rahman's order, who taught JMB operatives that 'it's not a sin to loot valuables of Grameen Bank, Brac, Proshika, Asa and Karitas' as they encourage women to shed Burqa (veil).
A joint team of Detective Branch of police and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) produced Sunny and Awal before the court yesterday.
The police arrested Awal, Abdur Rahman's son-in-law and a member of JMB's highest decision-making body, Majlish-e-Sura, at his den near a bus stand in Thakurgaon on November 18. Rab arrested Sunny on December 14 at Tejgaon Polytechnic Institute in Dhaka.
"The JMB was formed at a house at Jhilpar in Mugdapara at the beginning of 2002, but we had started working secretly much earlier," Sunny told the magistrate. "My elder brother declared me a Majlish-e-Sura member at the meeting that day," where Bangla Bhai, Awal, explosives expert Salahuddin were also present, he added.
According to Sunny's confession, he received his first training in bomb making at the house of one Sudha at Toktarchala in Sakhipur of Tangail during the end of September 2001. "My brother Salahuddin and Molla Omar of Delduar trained me and four others," he said.
He admitted to having the responsibilities of collecting explosives, making and distributing bombs, and planning attacks for the JMB.
"A Majlish-e-Shura meeting was held at a house in Basabo in July 2002, where my brother announced that it's legal to loot the goods of the NGOs that are working against Islam," he confessed.
The police arrested 18 JMB operatives at the house of JMB activist Montezar Rahman at Moheshpur Village in Khetlal of Joypurhat in September 2003. Sunny said they robbed the policemen who made the raid of their firearms the same night. "The arms are now kept with Salahuddin," he added.
According to his confession, JMB men also looted an NGO office in Tangail and the Brac office at Rupganj in Narayanganj in May 2004. They also snatched a rifle from some policemen posted near the Brac office.
In that month, "We exploded bombs at a jatra at Delduar in Tangail and stopped it successfully," said Sunny. The same month, Awal sent him detonators, power gel and single-shooter rifles. Sunny said, "I sent those to different parts of the country for using on August 17."
About the planning of the August 17 countrywide orchestrated bomb strikes, Sunny said, "We met at the house of our member Sharif at Muktagachha in Mymensingh in June last year. We planned the whole attack there."
"Shaekh [Abdur Rahman] told us that we should come out of the underground and work openly. He also said we needed publicity, which should be done by leaving leaflets at the bomb-blast sites. He said it would give rise to disgust in people's mind against the government, which we needed very much," narrated Sunny.
He said he was responsible for collecting explosives, Awal for collecting detonators and explosive gel, and Molla Omar for making the circuits for the August 17 terror strike. "Akram of Mirzapur [in Tangail] printed 30,000 leaflets that we left at the explosion spots on August 17," he added.
"Leaders from different districts met in a house at Khilkhet in June, where I briefed them about the attack. There we decided to explode three to four bombs at every courthouse and two or three at other important points," Sunny said, adding 190 bombs were made for blasting in his area, the southern part of Dhaka and Chittagong.
"I issued the final order for the August 17 bomb attacks from a house at Madartek on August 14," he said.
After the countrywide near-simultaneous bomb attacks, JMB Majlish-e-Sura members Awal, Khaled, Saifullah, Salahuddin and Hafez Mahmud met at Sunny's Basabo house in the city in the first week of September.
"Saifullah told the meeting Shaekh Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai have given orders to throw bombs on judges, magistrates, lawyers and policemen to create panic among people that would ultimately lead to the fall of the government," Sunny confessed. Accordingly, he said, bomb attacks on law courts were carried out in Chandpur, Laxmipur and Chittagong, adding, "Activists of Saifullah killed two judges in Jhalakathi on November 14."
To monitor the preparations for bomb attacks on law courts, Sunny went to Chittagong on November 25, four days before suicide bombers blew themselves up in Chittagong and Gazipur according to the plan.
Before his arrest on December 13, Sunny said, he sent an order through Salahuddin to make a bomb attack in Netrokona.
Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai called for jihad from a meeting at Jatrabari in 2000, saying Muslims across the world are falling victims to repression and an armed struggle is a must to stop that, Awal told Metropolitan Magistrate Shafiq Anwar in his confessional statement yesterday.
In that meeting, "They told us that the government is running the country according to non-Islamic laws. They said to introduce an Islamic rule we would need to launch bomb attacks at law courts, which would not only annoy the government but also instigate the masses against the government," said Awal, who was in the charge of the northern region.
He said Abdur Rahman, a Muslim militant leader of the UK, gave them £10,000 to materialise their plans.
Awal also said JMB chief Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai met Harkatul Jihad leader Mufti Abdul Hannan at his invitation in Gopalganj in early 2000, adding the JMB came into operation since then.