POST TIME: 11 February, 2020 09:28:31 AM
Plan to sabotage ISKCON temple in capital
5 ‘ABT men’ taken on remand

Plan to sabotage ISKCON temple in capital

A Dhaka court yesterday placed five members of banned militant outfit Ansar-al-Islam on four-day remand each in a case lodged under Anti-terror Act. The remanded suspected militants were identified as Nijam Uddin, 21, Rayhan Bhuiyan, 20, Hanif Uddin Suman, 19, Sheikh Iftekharur Islam alias Arif, 25 and Mufti Muslim, 27.

The Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) arrested five suspected members of the banned militant outfit Ansar al-Islam alias Ansarullah Bangla Team from Dhaka last night.

The militants were planning to carry out an act of sabotage at the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) temple in the capital.

Acting on a tip-off, a CTTC team conducted a drive on Sunday afternoon at Sabujbag’s Balur Math area and arrested the suspected militants. They also recovered three machetes, four bags and four smartphones from the arrestees’ possession.

Ilias Sharif, the joint commissioner of the CTTC unit, said that the militants were planning to sabotage the ISKCON temple in the capital and its others establishments in the country but police arrested them before they could carry out their heinous plan. Ilias Sharif said this at a press briefing at DMP media centre yesterday.

The CTTC official said the arrestees came from different districts of the country and held secret meetings in Dhaka to chalk out their plans. Earlier, they had maintained communications via a protected online system through social media, Telegram, online chat groups and crypto-currencies. They had also collected money from online sources at the same time.

CTTC officials said that they arrested three people who had planned to sabotage the ISKCON temple in November last year.

During their interrogation, the name of a militant, Nazmul alias Usman Gani alias Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, an immigrant from Kuwait, came up. Nazmul was one of the plotters in a conspiracy to assassinate Khijir Hayat Khan, a film director who makes anti-terrorist films.

Nazmul planned the massacre through a group called Eso-Kafelaboddho-Hoi in Kuwait through online chats. Later, he returned to Bangladesh and tried to coordinate the militants. He chalked out plans to sabotage the ISKCON temple again.

The CCTC members are also making efforts to arrest Nazmul.

During primary interrogation, the arrestees said they follow the ideology of Ansar-al-Islam. They came to Dhaka for training and to carry out destructive activities to implement their organisation's ideals. Responding to Nazmul's call, they met at a secret meeting place in Dhaka.

There was another militant from Dubai with them named Abu Qaiser alias Rony. Abu Qaiser, too, was conspiring to sabotage the ISKCON temple and assassinate Khijir Hayat Khan. He, too, arrived in Bangladesh recently.

CCTC members have also embarked on a campaign to arrest him. About the arrested militants, CCTC officer Elias Sharif said Nijam Uddin worked at a madrasa in Chattogram.

Rayhan Bhuiyan was in Malaysia and had come to Bangladesh recently. Hanif Uddin Suman worked for a ship-breaking yard in Chattogram. Sheikh Iftekharur Islam alias Arif holds a master’s degree with honours in Veterinary Medicine from Mymensingh Agricultural University and Mufti Muslim works at a madrassa in Boalmari of Faridpur. A case was filed in Sabujbag police station under the Anti-Terrorism Act.