Counterterrorism Unit of police has arrested four suspected members of the banned militant outfit Ansar Al Islam
The suspects were planning to attack the police and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) patrols in Dhaka and Sylhet, said DIG Md Asaduzzaman, chief of the police’s Counterterrorism Unit.
They also surveyed spots for the planned attacks, Asaduzzaman said at a news briefing in Dhaka on Sunday.
The arrestees are Jasimul Islam Jack, 25, a student of Atish Dipankar University of Science and Technology in Dhaka, Abdul Mukit, 29, a teacher of Markajus Sunnah Al Islamia Madrasa in Habiganj’s Nabiganj, Aminul Haque, 20, a student of Al Hidaya Islamic Institute in Sylhet, and Sajeeb Ikhtiar, 20, an undergraduate from Sunamganj Government College.
They got together through a Messenger group called Science Project. Two of their members have already moved to Afghanistan, while the rest had a plan to flee to the country after some violent attacks in Bangladesh, according to the police official.
Police arrested them in the Basila neighbourhood of Mohammadpur on Saturday.
“You know that most of the militant groups in Bangladesh claim their affiliation to al-Qaeda. Ansar Al Islam claims to be the sub-continental wing of al-Qaeda. Maybe that’s why they moved to Afghanistan. This is what they say, but we’re not sure about it,” he said.
The militants planned to ignite a big explosion using an oxygen gas cylinder, Asaduzzaman added.
Recently, they stabbed the manager of a hotel in Sylhet following the directive from their high-ups and fled, said the deputy inspector general of police.
Police have been the target of militants for a long time. Asked why they targeted BGB, Asaduzzaman said the militants have targeted all law-enforcing agencies.