Four ‘Hamza Brigade’ members arrested with AK-22, pistols in Chittagong

After the arrest, the elite force on Monday said the arrestees were in the process of establishing a new militant outfit called ‘Shaheed Hamza Brigade’.

They were arrested during raids in three areas of the port city between Sunday night and Monday morning, said RAB-7 Commander Lt Col Mifta Uddin.

He told the raid yielded recovery of five AK-22 rifles, five pistols, a gun and huge cache of ammunition.

The arrestees have been identified as Mozaher Hossain, 35, Sabbir Ahmed alias Muhib, 23, Kamal Uddin, 24, and Ashraf Ali alias Adnan, 25.

The last three are members of the Hamza Brigade.

Hossain was an arms dealer, RAB officials said. Muhib had gone to him to buy firearms.

Both of them were nabbed from a hotel at Station Road on Sunday night with four pistols and 1,000 bullets, the elite force said.

The other two were trying to flee to Dhaka when they were arrested from a bus counter at the city’s AK Khan Gate area.

Based on the information they provided, the AK-22 rifles, other arms and ammunitions were seized from the house of one Masud Rana alias Fahad at a Panchlaish residential area during a raid.

RAB officials said this new outfit had some connection with the militant hideout busted recently at Banshkhali.
Lt Col Mifta Uddin said, “Some Qawmi madrasa students and Islami Chhatra Shibir members have formed this Shaheed Hamza Brigade. Their members are mainly recruited from outside Chittagong.”

The outfit’s name was finalised at a meeting in Chittagong in November 2013, he said, adding that RAB ‘had managed to take the outfit down before it became fully active’.

Most members of the militant organisation were present and former university students, according to RAB.

Mifta Uddin said the outfit’s structure was divided in three levels – green, blue and white.

Leaders of two of these levels Md Masud alias Don and Md Aziz alias Tarek were arrested earlier, he said.

The RAB-7 commander claimed that all of the 24 people arrested from Hathazari’s Abu Bakar Madrasa on Apr 12, Banshkhali on Feb 21, Halishahar on Feb 28 and those nabbed on Sunday and Monday were members of the Hamza Brigade.

RAB said they had recovered many documents including training manuals from the house at Panchlaish on Monday.

The outfit’s members were trained at Banshkhali and the Hathazari madrasa, said Mifta Uddin quoting the arrestees.

Five bank accounts

RAB said they have alerted the Bangladesh Bank about five bank accounts Hamza Brigade was operating.

Lt Col Mifta said they came to know about them from the arrested militants.

“They didn’t receive money through these accounts. They only deposit the money received through illegal means in those accounts.”

He said they were investigating to find out the senders of the money.

Rifles made in China

The RAB official said the AK-22 rifles were made in China and no Bangladesh law-enforcement agencies use those.

“Mozaher Hossain said these rifles were brought in from China through India’s Mizoram border,” he said.

Mifta Uddin said the arms dealer during interrogation had told RAB that he sold each rifle at Tk 310,000-320,000 and each pistol at Tk 140,000.

Source: Bd news24