POST TIME: 22 October, 2019 10:32:24 AM
Militants change pattern of attacks: RAB

Militants change pattern of attacks: RAB

Banned militant groups are changing their pattern in attacking targets, including intellectuals and are interchanging their members, which is very significant, said the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) yesterday. At a press briefing at the RAB media centre in Karwan Bazar, RAB-4 commanding officer (CO) Mozammel Haque said Harkat-ul-Jihad Bangladesh (Huji) members are now joining another banned militant group, Ansar-al-Islam, also known as Ansarullah Bangla, responsible for killing bloggers, writers and freethinkers.

The RAB arrested four suspected Ansar-al-Islam men in a drive in Dhaka's Gabtoli and Savar's Amin Bazar areas yesterday. Among the four, Mufti Saiful Islam, 34, from Manikganj previously worked for Harkat-ul-Jihad (Huji). The other three are Md Salim Mia, 30, Zunayed, 37, and Ahammed Sohayel, 21. Theyare from Brahmanbaria, Munshiganj and Sunamganj, respectively.

They communicate with each other by using protective apps and browsers. The militants want to establish a Khelafat and Sharia-based regime. Mozammel Haque said the detained militants now work for Ansar-al-Islam, but they were previously associated with Huji. Later, when Huji broke up, they joined Ansar-al-Islam. The aim of the militants was to “target killings” as punishment for those who oppose creating an Islamic Khelafat in the country. That is why they used to keep machetes with them.

Saiful, a teacher of a night madrasa, is a top leader of Ansar-al-Islam. He used to communicate with the others through encrypted messaging apps. He was a trainer too. Zunayed was a founding director of a madrasa at Savar. He used to communicate with Saiful regularly. The outfit used to hold meetings occasionally in his madrasa. Sohayel joined Ansar-al-Islam three years ago after he became acquainted with a top leader of Ansar-al-Islam online. Salim Mia stepped into militancy after he came into contact with Saiful while studying at the night madrasa in 2013. He used to donate monthly to maintain the outfit. Mozammel said that at least 25 to 30 Ansar-al-Islam militants are yet to be arrested. “However, militancy is still under control,” he mentioned.

The RAB seized books, leaflets, laptops and smart phones—all containing militancy elements—from them. They also found digital contents used to train militants. “The militants were using the cut-out method so it was difficult to identify them,” said the RAB officer, adding that no one ever met anyone easily. This is why they did not know any of them personally. However, they were together to plan and train for any act of sabotage.