Dhaka: A close aide of slain Dhaka cafe terror attack mastermind Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury was killed during a raid in a house in the Bangladesh capital, media reports said.
Tamim’s ‘second-in-command’, identified as ‘Murad’, or called ‘Major Murad’ by the members of the “Neo Jamaat-ul Mujahideen” (Neo-JMB) terrorist outfit, was killed during a raid in Dhaka’s Mirpur city on Friday evening.
Murad gave arms training to the terrorists who attacked the Holey Artisan Bakery on July 1-2, killing 22 people, including mostly foreign hostages. He had also trained the attackers of the Eid congregation on July 7 at Sholakia, in which four people were killed.
Detective Branch Joint Commissioner Abdul Baten said police raided the house in Rupnagar Residential Area around 9.30 p.m. on Friday.
Two police officials were also injured in the attack.
Murad was using aliases ‘Jahangir’ and ‘Omar’, said police.
He was found carrying a knife and a pistol during the raid. “He used both of them,” police said.
Police found out about Murad during investigations after the death of Tamim, the suspected mastermind of Gulshan cafe terror attack, in a raid on a house in Narayanganj on Aug 27.
Police raided the house in Rupnagar also on Thursday but found it locked, bdnews24 reported.
Police lay in wait of Murad on Friday. “He (Murad) stabbed police officers when they entered the house. He died after being hit by a bullet during a scuffle that ensued when he tried to flee,” a police officer added.
The injured police officials were taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Aged between 40 and 45, Murad was a retired army personnel, the police official said.
According to the Daily Star, Bangladeshi investigators also said that Murad was known as an arrogant man and capable of carrying out attacks causing massive destruction.
Murad was not popular in the militant group, a JMB offshoot called by law enforcers “Neo JMB”. He was ill-tempered and used to order his trainees to do push-ups 20 to 25 times for minor mistakes, said an investigator.
During a routine search in July, police had come under attack from militants holed up in an apartment at Dhaka’s Kalyanpur. A SWAT team later stormed the apartment and gunned down nine suspected militants.
Flags similar to those of the Islamic State terrorist group, which purportedly claimed the Gulshan attack, were found in Kalyanpur.
According to reports, citing several Islamic State publications, have described Tamim as the coordinator of Middle East-based group’s Bangladesh operations.
The Bangladesh authorities said that Tamim, a Canadian-Bangladeshi, led the “Neo-JMB”, which emerged after the JMB split on the issue of backing the Islamic State terrorist group.
The “Neo JMB” was formed by leaders and operatives of mainstream JMB who did not accept the leadership of Saidur Rahman.
The police said they have identified the second man and third-in-command in Neo-JMB after Tamim.
“We are trying to arrest them,” the police official said.