A week after the arrest of two suspected Islamic State (IS) operatives, detectives have caught another person in the capital's Baridhara area, claiming he is an “assistant coordinator” of the terror outfit in Bangladesh.
The 27-year-old detainee, Abdullah Al Galib, son of an ex-army official, also has launched a new militant organisation called “Jund At-Tawheed Wal Khilafah”, detectives said yesterday.
Following the IS model, Galib and his associates have been recruiting members and collecting funds with a mission to wage jihad in Bangladesh. They were also preparing to “destabilise law and order and kill some important figures”, added the detectives.
After a tip-off that Galib was holding a meeting with his accomplices, a DB team raided his Baridhara DOHS house on Saturday night and arrested him with a passport, a computer and some Jihadi publications, said a senior official.
"We arrested him with hundreds of training videos for Islamist militants, and also a large number of books -- translated into Bangla -- on al-Qaeda and Islamic State," said Deputy Commissioner Shaikh Nazmul Alam of DMP Detective Branch.
The other operatives, however, managed to flee, he added.
Galib, who passed GED or General Educational Development (equivalent to HSC/A' Level) in 2013, is involved in business of Attar (perfume popular among Muslims) and garment accessories, according to Nazmul.
Before launching the new outfit, Galib was with banned outfits Hizb-ut Tahrir and Ansarullah Bangla Team, said the official during a press conference at the DMP media centre. "We have been following him for a long time.”
The new militant group had plans to smuggle arms into Bangladesh with the help of Islamic State (also known as ISIS) and send their operatives to Iraq and Syria to join the jihad led by the global organisation, he added.
Before the press conference, detectives screened a video clip, which detectives claimed to have recovered from the arrestee's computer. The clip showed 10 masked men taking arms training in an unknown place.
The clip was not handed over to the media but The Daily Star found the same image, uploaded in attahreedmedia.wordpress.com on October 2014.
"They produced the video in Bangladesh and the area seen in the clip is in Bangladesh," Nazmul quoted the arrestee as saying.
In the Bangla-dubbed video with English subtitle, a masked man says: "Our mujahideen brothers are prepared to launch attacks at various parts of Bangladesh." He expressed allegiance to IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and praised al-Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri.
Police are yet to identify any of the masked men.
DC Nazmul claimed that Galib during interrogation said his organisation recruited 15 to 20 members so far.
The detainee is now on six days' remand after a terrorism case was filed against him with Banani Police Station.
Earlier on May 24, law enforcers arrested Aminul Islam Beg, 38, IT department head of a multinational company, and Sakib bin Kamal, 30, a former teacher of an English medium school of Dhaka.
Aminul, previously a regional co-coordinator of the banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), started following the IS ideologies after going through an online publication, according to DMP Joint Commissioner Monirul Islam.
Aminul had been trying to send operatives to Iraq and Syria from Bangladesh, added the official.
"Aminul has so far selected 20 people from among the JMB operatives across the country, many of whom are ready to leave the country to join IS in Iraq and Syria," Monirul told a press briefing after the arrest of the duo.
Sakib was one of the 20 operatives, said the DB official, adding that Aminul himself was supposed to join the militant group in Syria after sending a good number of operatives there.
Over the last one year, police arrested at least 15 suspected IS operatives in Bangladesh.