Hardliners take over JMB

Detained chief tells interrogators
Kailash Sarkar
JMB chief Saidur Rahman himself is worried that hardliners who have taken control of banned Islamist outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh will be more destructive in his absence as chief.

In the last two days of his six-day remand, Saidur told interrogators that Sohel Mahfuz became JMB’s acting chief and Nazmul alias Bhagina Shahid is now the military wing commander, sources said.

Earlier, the JMB chief disclosed that they still have around 400 fulltime members and 50,000 supporters across the country with a strong military wing capable of launching devastating attacks.

One of the interrogators wishing anonymity said, “Saidur claimed that before his arrest, the hardliners had been pressing him repeatedly for carrying out attacks alongside their dawati [recruiting] activities but Saidur did not allow them.”

The Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Shahidul Hoque yesterday said Saidur has disclosed many names of JMB leaders who took over charges of those arrested, including the JMB chief and chiefs of different JMB units.

The DMP commissioner said Saidur claimed that he wanted to gradually weaken and eventually dismantle the military wing and give more emphasis on dawati activities.

The commissioner also said during interrogation Saidur disclosed that one of their financial sources is a number of expatriates.

“The expatriates send money for JMB through their family members in the country,” he said, adding, “We have also collected many names.”

Sources said apart from fake currency trade, JMB gets funds from several sources at home and abroad.

They said Saidur disclosed that acting JMB chief Sohel, now in India, is also the chief of JMB’s Dhaka zone. Rajshahi zone chief Nazmul alias Bhagina Shahid is also a charge-sheeted accused in the case filed in connection with the attack on Prof Humayun Azad.

Nazmul has become the military wing commander after the arrest of Shiblu at the city’s Dania.

Saidur disclosed that hardliners IT wing chief Sayem and JMB Chittagong zone chief Tamim, also a sura committee member, are absconding.

He said JMB has huge amount of explosives, homemade bombs and grenades stashed at different dens and the hardliners might use them for destructive purposes.

Assistant Commissioner Sanwar Hossain, an explosives expert of the Detective Branch, said explosives, bombs, designs and other materials seized from JMB dens recently suggest that the outfit still has a “very high level of bomb-making expertise”.

Additional Superintendent of Police Zannatul Hasan, who led the team that arrested Saidur and five other top militants, told The Daily Star that they are alert and would do their best to stop JMB attacks.


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