Bangladesh group used Pakistan grenades for terror attacks
Using a cache of 32 grenades it received from Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Bangladeshi Islamist outfit Harkatul Jihad al Islami (HuJI) staged seven attacks during 2004-05 against then opposition leader and now prime minister Sheikh Hasina and others, investigators have disclosed.
The attacks also were against former finance minister SAMS Kibria and then British high commissioner to Bangladesh Anwar Chowdhury.
The LeT high-ups in Pakistan had sent the grenade cache to Bangladesh to despatch it to their men in Kashmir through Satkhira, bordering India's West Bengal.
“But the HuJI did not dare to follow the instruction thanks to the Indian authorities' interception of a previous consignment,” The Daily Star said quoting Rafiqul Islam of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).
Tasked with carrying out an additional investigation into the attacks, he said: "We now know who supplied the grenades and who received those in Bangladesh."
The investigator told the newspaper that new findings could lead to arrest of those masterminding it.
The seven attacks killed 34 people and injured over 400.
The attacks took place five to six year ago when the government headed by Prime Minister Khaleda Zia had Islamist allies who are accused of promoting Islamist militant outfits.
Hasina escaped the attack on her Dhaka rally in Aug 21, 2004 in which 28 people died and scores were injured. Kibria was killed and Chowdhury, the British diplomat of Bangladeshi origin, was seriously injured in the terror attacks.
Indicating a pattern, an official told the newspaper: “Any findings in the probe into a terror attack in the last decade have got to give clues to the other attacks, as it was the same group that used the same weapons to kill members of the same political party."
Sources said that the militant group had decided “to eliminate the top Awami League leaders, as it considered the party to be anti-Islam and pro-India”.