Police on Monday submitted a charge sheet against eight ‘militants’ for their involvement in the deadliest attack on Gulshan’s Holey Artisan Bakery, which lead deaths of 20 people, mostly foreigners.
Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit Chief Monirul Islam came up with the information at a press briefing at Minto Road in the city.
The eight chargesheeted are: Neo-Jamaatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh operatives Rakibul Islam Regan, Hadisur Rahman Sagor, Jahangir Hossain Rajeeb alias Rajeeb Gandhi, Aslam Hossain Rashed alias Rash, Abdus Sabur Khan alias Sohel Mahfuj, Mizanur Rahman alias Baro Mizan, and Mamunur Rashid alias Ripon and Shariful Islam Khaled, former student of English Department at Rajshahi University.
Six suspects are currently in prison while two are absconding, he said.
The 13 others militants were killed in various security force operations. This is why, they have been dropped from the charge sheet.
According to the investigation sources, the five dead militants, who directly took part in the attack, are Rohan Ibn Imtiaz, Mir Sameh Mobeshwar, Nirbas Islam, Shafiqul Islam alias Ujjal, and Khairul Islam alias Pael. They were killed in a commando operation, led by Bangladesh Army on July 2, 2016.
Apart from this, eight more people, killed in different operations of the law enforcers, were also the key-masterminds.
They were Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, Nurul Islam Marjan, Tanvir Kaderi, Major (retd) Zahidul Islam alias Murad, Raihan Kabir Tarek, Sarwan Jahan Manik, Basharuzzaman alias Chocolate and Mizanur Rahman.
Those in custody are Jahangir Alam alias Rajib Gandhi, Rafiqul Islam Rigan, Soheil Mahfuz, Rashedul Islam alias Rash and Hadisur Rahman Sagor. Warrants have been requested for the arrests of the two fugitives, Shahidul Islam Khaled and Mamunur Rashid Ripon, Islam said.
The investigation did not find the involvement of former North South University teacher Hasnat Karim, who was detained from the café, in the attack, counterterrorism police officers said on condition of anonymity.
Police placed 75 evidences relating to the attack before the court. In their way to prepare the charge sheet, police considered statements of 211 people including survivors of the attack, law enforcers and the officers who were conducting forensic examination.
Five militants had entered the upscale eatery in Dhaka’s Gulshan on July 1, 2016 and taken those inside hostage. Seventeen foreigners and three Bangladeshis were killed by the attackers.
Army commandos eventually stormed the cafe, killing five attackers – Nibras Islam, Mir Sameeh Mobassher, Rohan Imtiaz, Khairul Islam Payel and Shafiqul Islam Ujjal – ending a siege which had lasted overnight.
In addition to planning and coordinating the attack, some of the suspects trained the attackers and supplied arms and money, according to police.
The law enforcers have blamed the attack on the revived chapter of radical Islamist group Jamaatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh or Neo-JMB despite claim of responsibilities by Middle East-based Islamic State.
According to the CTTC sources, on July 1, 2016, in connection with the militant attack on Holey Artisan, all twenty one identified militants were members of the banned militant organization JMB’s neo-section (Neo JMB). Three of the seven accused have already given their confessional statements in the court. The attack was planned in a remote char of Gaibandha district. The five militants were also trained in the remote areas of the district.
According to sources, among the four people arrested in the case militant Rajiv alias Rajiv Gandhi alias Jahangir is involved in the whole plan of the attack.
He has already made confessional statement confessed in the court. The names of those involved in the attack came in his confessional statement. Apart from the assault weapons and explosives suppliers Mizanur Rahman alias Boro Mizan and Rakibul Hasan Reagan, also confessed their involvement in the court.
Arms and explosives used in the Gulshan attack came to the country through Chapainawabganj and Jessore frontiers. The source said Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, a Canadian citizen of Bangladeshi origin, was the main mastermind of the Gulshan attack and coordinator. Nurul Islam Marjan had served as the operational commander of the plan and attack. Two months after the incident, on September 27, Tamim was killed in a police operation in Paikpara of Narayanganj district.
Marjan was killed in a gunfight with the police on January 5 last year in the capital’s Mohammadpur area. Major (retd) Zahidul Islam alias Murad, who trained the attackers in Gaibandha Chara in Gulshan, was killed on September 2 last year in Rangnagar and Raihan was killed on July 26,2016 in Kalyanpur area during police operation.
Dutch-Bangla Bank official Tanvir Kaderi rented a flat to the five attackers. The attackers carried out the attack coming out from Tanvir Kadir Vattara’s house.
Tanvir Kaderi was killed in a police operation on September 10, 2016 in Azimpur. Sarwar Jahan, one of the planning planners, was killed on October 8, 2016 in Ashulia’s RAB operation.
On July 1, 2016, militants carried out attack in Holey Artisan Bakeri in Gulshan killing twenty hostages, mostly foreigners.
During the twelve hour hostage standoff, two police officials were also killed.
During rescue operation, five militants were killed in the joint operation of the law enforcing force ‘Operation Thunderbolt’.
A Japanese man and two Sri Lankan people were among 13 people, rescued in the operation. On July 4, police filed a case against Gulshan Police Station against Anti-Terrorism Act.
The investigation officials have said they have not got any foreign link in the attack.
The attackers are native militants. Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, a Canadian citizen of Canada’s main Bangladeshi family, He went to Canada from Bangladesh and formed a new JMB with some old militants.
CTTC officials said Major (retd) Zahid was a master trainer. The training lasted 28 days. Five of the militants stayed in Jhenidah before launching the attack.
They stayed there for several days to implement multiple killing missions.