Bangladesh on high alert to foil terror plans on Eid-ul-Azha

Police in Bangladesh have heightened security to foil any terrorist attack on or ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha

Jul 28, 2020
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Police in Bangladesh have heightened security to foil any terrorist attack on or ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha.

Working on intelligence inputs, the security apparatuses apprehend attack on embassies, temples, airports, Shia-Ahmadiya shrines, mosques, churches, pagodas and other religious institutions and the police establishments by terrorists to announce launch of a new group 'Bengal Ulayat' by the Bangladesh wing of ISIS.

Members of neo JMB, an ultra-radical offshoot of the banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), who follow the Islamic State (IS) ideology, could try to carry out attacks, sources said.

Citing attacks on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in August (On August 21, 2004, she was attacked with grenade), a top police official, on the condition of anonymity, told IANS, "It's August again. We have stepped up security. We have adopted the policy of 'zero tolerance against militancy' as per the Prime Minister's directives."

Father of the Nation Bangabondhu Sheikh Mujibor Rahman was also assassinated in August.

"The special units, including the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC), Anti-Terrorism (ATU) and the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) have been asked to be on alert," the official said.

The police have been asked to beef up all-round security, collect data on new tenants in cities, check identity of visitors to police installations, boost security in the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) diplomatic division, keep vigil on religious and police units, and not to leave any police vehicles unattended.

Security arrangements had been strengthened in and around embassies and different areas of Dhaka, the police official said and added, check-posts had been set up at various points.

According to the police headquarters (PHQ) sources, intelligence suggested that IS had decided to declare a new wing 'Bengal Ulayat' ahead of the Eid-ul-Azha and August.

Members of neo JMB, Allahr Dol (Party of Allah) and the local IS followers could carry out subversive activities, including assassinations and bombings, sources said.

At the end of June, the IS in Iraq and Syria had urged its followers all over the world to gather ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.

On July 25 night, a fake grenade was found in a bag hanging from a motorcycle of a traffic cop, who had left it behind in Gulistan of the capital. "It's like an alert message to us," the official said.

The PHQ has instructed its units to increase surveillance of extremists, their groups, and school and college students and maintain personal security all the time.

Meanwhile, five members of the banned militant outfit Ansar Al Islam were arrested on July 26 night from the Dhulivita area of Dhamrai, about 40 km north-west of Dhaka. The arrested militants are Mizanur Rahman Palash, 35, one of the coordinators of Ansar Al Islam, Durul Huda (44), Abdur Rashid (21), Russell (38) and Abdul Hai (40).

From Palash, a businessman, and four others incriminating books, leaflets, digital content and mobiles were recovered, an RAB official told IANS. They all belonged to the Chapainawabganj district of the Rajshahi Division, he added.

Huda, a teacher by profession played motivator to new recruits and provided them videos, books, mobile apps of Ansar Al-Islam. Rashid is mason by profession and Russell a workshop mechanic. They collected donations on behalf of Ansar Al-Islam. Hai is a quack (medical impostor).

According to the RAB, 8-10 of them regularly visited different areas for meetings with other militants and to recruit new members. They had planned to meet at Dhamrai, well-known for pottery and annual Jagannath Rath Jatra.
(IANS)

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