Remnants of the banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), which faced a massive crackdown by security agencies, and two other extremist outfits are regrouping under a common banner to renew their violent campaign for imposing Islamic rule in the country.
JMB, which had terrorised Bangladesh with deadly serial blasts in 2005, had suffered a major setback following the arrests and subsequent executions of six of its kingpins, including its chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman and his second-in- command Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, on March 30.
In a "secret ballot" immediately after the hangings, JMB, its offshoot Allar Dal, and Insaf, a group led by an Ahle Hadith faction, elected Moulana Sayeedur Rahman alias Abu Jafar as their commander, intelligence officials were quoted as saying by local media.
The revelations come close on the heels of the blasts in the country's three railway stations on Tuesday for which with Zadid (new) Al Qaeda, a hitherto unknown outfit, claimed responsibility.
The JMB activists now plan to stage attacks in small groups frequently changing their names, the officials said.
The media report said the three outfits are now operating under a single banner whose name are being changed too frequently to keep track. Determined to make up for the loss of their leaders, they have also launched a fresh recruitment drive; an unnamed intelligence official told media.
Militants left an aluminium plate at a blast site with writings castigating NGO activists and the minority Kadiani sect. Authorities in emergency-ruled Bangladesh have ordered cancellation of leave for policemen to intensify the hunt for the culprits.