At least five of the nine militants killed by security forces during an encounter in Dhaka last week were members of a suicide squad of outlawed Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and were planning to carry out suicide attacks in the country, police said on Tuesday.
“Analysing the evidence and information gleaned from the injured militant - Rakibul Hasan Rigan - we are suspecting at least five of the nine militants were members of a suicide squad of JMB,” Monirul Islam, chief of the Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit, said.
Homegrown extremist group JMB has been blamed by the government for the July 1 cafe attack, the country’s worst terror assault.
The five suicide squad members were identified as Taz-ul-Haq Rashik, Akifuzzaman, Sazad Rauf Arko, Matiar Rahman and Jobayer Hossain, the Dhaka Tribune reported.
The remaining three militants - Raihan, Kabir and Tareq - were arms and bomb trainer, Monirul said.
Even the ninth militant who is yet to be identified might have been involved in the suicide squad, he said.
After being trained in Gaibandha district in northern Bangladesh, the militants reportedly gathered to carry out suicide attacks, an official probing militancy said.
The official said the militants were brainwashed by Abdullah alias Motaleb, one of the nine militants killed.
Nine terrorists were killed while one was captured alive during a fierce gun-battle erupted after a raid in an apartment at a six-storey building in Kalyanpur area on July 26.
The raid was carried out on intelligence reports that the terrorists were preparing for a ‘mass terror attack’.