”militants have no strength to attacks like Holy Artisan”

Online Desk :   The militants have no strength to carry out attacks like the one on Holy Artisan Bakery ardue to their weakening through anti-militant drives across the country.Monirul Islam, the chief of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit, claimed this.

“They may try to get reorganised again but we’ll hunt down the absconding militants, too,” he was quoted to have said during an interview with the news agency recently.

Though the militants had been planning to do something again in March or during Ramadan but their efforts went in vein due to simultaneous anti-militant drives carried out since March this year, he said.

“The terrorist attack on Twin Tower was the deadliest one for the USA. We can term Holey Artisan attack like ‘Twin Tower attack’ in our country,” said Monirul.

The CTTC chief said the investigators have already identified the perpetrators involved in the attack. “The militants who went to the spot or directly involved in the attack, were killed on the spot,” he said.

He said the militants who were directly involved in planning as well as to coordinate the attack have already been identified.

“So far, eight militants who were involved in planning and coordination in the attack have already been killed in different places across the country during anti-militant operations in the last one year,” Monirul said.

About financing in the Gulshan Bakery attack, Monirul said, “It seems that attack on the Holey Artisan Cafe; was a low-cost terrorism attack. It might cost Tk 8-9 lakh. They (militants) collected the money from their own sources. There was no need to collect money from foreign sources.”

Replying to a question, the CTTC chief said firearms and explosives which were used in the Gulshan Cafe; attack were brought from Chapainababganj and Jessore.

“We’ve already arrested Mizanur Rahman alias Boro Mijan from Chapainababganj. He was shown arrested in the Gulshan Cafe; attack case and he confessed to his involvement in supplying firearms and explosives for the attack.”

He said investigators have already identified five suspected militants-Mizanur Rahman alias Chhoto Mizan, Sagar, Sohel Mahfuz, Rashed alias Rash and Basharuzzaman alias Chocolate-who were involved in the deadliest attack.

On the evening of 1 July in 2016, five militants entered the Holy Artisan Cafe and Bakery with crude bombs, machetes, pistols, and took dozens of people, including 18 foreigners, hostage.

Twenty hostages, including 17 foreigners, were killed as the militants sprayed them with bullets indiscriminately or cut their throats to confirm their death inside the cafe.

Besides, two senior police officers – Banani Police Station then officer-in-charge Salauddin Ahmed Khan and Detective Branch assistant commissioner Robiul Islam – were shot dead when police tried to overpower them.

Thirteen people, including three foreigners, were rescued while 20 bodies of the hostages were recovered from the restaurant after a successful operation led by the 1st Para-commando Battalion, an elite force in the Bangladesh Army, codenamed ‘Thunderbolt’ the following day (2 July). Five militants and one restaurant staff were killed and one suspected militant was arrested during the drive.

A case was filed with Gulshan police station in connection with the terror attack. Later the case was shifted to Detective Branch of DMP. Now, Inspector Humayun Ahmed of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit (CTTC) has been investigating the case as its investigation officer (IO).

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