A new militant outfit called ‘BEM’, which modelled itself on the banned Islamist outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), has emerged. This has been disclosed by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).
A RAB-12 team has arrested three members of the outfit along with heavy weapons after raiding a house near Jobani Primary School in the district town’s Thanthaniya. The raid which started Thursday evening continued till the early hours of Friday.
The trio was huddled in a clandestine meeting at the house with some other members of the group.
The arrestees were identified as – Firoz Alam, 35, Md Nahid, 22, and Barha Sheikh Babu, 21.
RAB recovered an AK-22 rifle, a sub-machine gun (SMG), a pistol, four magazines with 80 rounds of bullet, seven knives, two machetes, a telescope, a catalogue of arms, a diary and many ‘jihadi’ books during the raid.
At a press briefing on early Friday at the Bogra office, the elite force’s Legal and Media Wing director ATM Habibur Rahman said at first they thought the arrestees were JMB members. “But document seized from them showed that they are a new group emerging with the name of ‘BEM’.”
But RAB was yet to know the full meaning of BEM, he said.
Rahman said 18 militants were having a secret meeting on Thursday afternoon at the house of Dulal Miah. As RAB started their raid, 15 of them managed to flee after breaking through the iron grill of a window. But the three could not escape and were nabbed.
Firoz Alam had brought out a bag from the backroom of the house after sensing the RAB team’s presence. The bag was recovered during a scuffle. The arms and bullets were found in the bag.
At least 25 newsmen from different media houses reached Bogra from Dhaka on Thursday night, following a RAB invitation, after the raid’s news was made public.
Habibur Rahman told reporters, “The arrestees are trained. They are not giving up any information. What we do know is that they were planning to carry out a huge terrorist attack.”
He could not tell the meaning of the militant outfit’s abbreviated name. He showed the letters ‘BEM’ written in several books seized from the house.
The RAB official said BEM has many wings. The arrested three are members of the armed wing. But RAB was yet to know who were financing or directing the outfit.
One of the arrestee, Nahid, while talking to reporters, claimed that a man named ‘Shibu’ had brought him to Bogra from Dhaka’s Kamalapur five days ago. He was promised adequate supply of good foods and clothes.
When asked, what he did in the last five days, he said, “I only did the shopping.”
Another arrestee, Babu said a man named ‘Abdullah’ took him there from Gobindaganj. He claimed he spent the whole Thursday morning sleeping.
The in the afternoon, Firoz started speaking to him to make him understand ‘something’, which he did not understand.
“I studied upto second grade. I don’t have a clue what Firoz said.”
Both Babu and Nahid claimed that they did not see the arms which RAB recovered from the house.
RAB-12 commander Jamil Ahmed said, “This group was getting ready to carry out sabotage acts. The book they had with them was manuals of armed training. They also had a training schedule.”
Meanwhile, RAB was yet to find the house’s owner Dulal Miah. The law enforcers suspect that Dulal had also fled the scene during the Thursday night’s raid.
Processes to lodge a case against the three arrestees were underway.
Source: Bd news24