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Bangladesh investigators identify 5 financiers of Dhaka cafe terror attacks

world Updated: Aug 10, 2016 00:06 IST
Dhaka cafe terror attack

Bangladeshi policemen stand under umbrellas at a checkpoint in Dhaka on July 5, 2016, in a street leading to the entrance of a restaurant where a bloody siege ended in the death of seventeen foreigners and five Bangladeshis.(AFP file photo)

Bangladeshi investigators have identified five businessmen who allegedly financed a new Islamist group to carry out the brazen terror attack on a Dhaka cafe.

Investigating officers dealing with the Gulshan and Sholakia terror attacks have primarily identified five businessmen for financing a new Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) group in carrying out terror activities.

They have also kept under watch some people inside the country and abroad who had funded some militant groups earlier, Dhaka Tribune reported on Tuesday.

“The militants have created a network of financiers inside the country. They are also receiving funds from some expatriate Bangladeshis through hundi [an illegal channel],” an official was quoted as saying by the paper.

The official confirmed that they had got identities of the five businesspersons, but refused to disclose the names as they are now scrutinising the evidence.

Monirul Islam, chief of Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit, said that they had got some crucial information and evidence regarding the Holey Artisan Bakery attack in Dhaka on July 1, and the specific role of some persons behind it.

Around six months back, detectives came to know about a militant receiving around Taka 38 lakh from one of his relatives staying abroad through hundi. The militant who was later arrested by the police claimed that he had been asked to give it to another person.

In investigation, it was later found that the sender was a militant financier, and for this, the authorities have kept the family members under surveillance.

An official working with militant financing for a long period said that the local militants get huge sum of money from abroad, but it does not reach the attackers or the field- level members. Those members are taught to lead a life with low financial support and asked to spend money for buying arms.

Abdul Mannan, additional deputy commissioner of the CTTC unit, said that interrogating Rakibul Hasan alias Rigan, the lone survivor in Kallyanpur raid, they had learnt that the group’s ‘Big Brother’ used to visit the flat to give them money for buying daily commodities and supply the arms and explosives.

The suspected mastermind behind the Gulshan and Sholakia attacks, Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, used to stay in Canada and might have developed a network of financiers abroad before coming to Bangladesh in 2013.

Sanowar Hossain, additional deputy commissioner of the CTTC unit, said that banned militant outfit JMB had been trying to raise funds by themselves for the last two years by conducting criminal activities including robbery and mugging.