RAB says it has arrested 5 members of new Islamist militant outfit

The militants were gathering money and materials for their outfit Jama'atul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya and had gone into hiding due to recent raids by law enforcement

Senior Correspondent
Published : 5 Dec 2022, 09:26 AM
Updated : 5 Dec 2022, 09:26 AM

Five members of a new militant outfit, Jama'atul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya, have been arrested, according to the Rapid Action Battalion.

The suspects have been identified as Md Golam Sarwar, 25, Sakib Mahmud, 27, Md Farhad Hossain, 22, Md Murad Hossain, 21, and Md Wasiqur Rahman aka Nayeem, 28. The elite force arrested them on Sunday night in Narayanganj’s Sonargaon and Gulistan.

Recently, several young men in Cumilla have left home after being radicalised into extremism, RAB spokesman Commander Khondker Al Moin said on Monday.

The RAB has stepped up surveillance and conducted several raids across the country throughout October and November to arrest members of the militant outfit.

Based on interrogations following the arrests, law enforcers learnt that newly recruited youth would receive preliminary training at home or near their home before they left for advanced armed training in the hilly areas of Bandarban and Rangamati.

On Oct 21, Jama'atul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya conducted an operation in the remote mountainous regions of those districts. Law enforcers arrested 10 people, including militant leader Syed Maruf Ahmad Manik and three members of separatist groups in the hill tract areas and seized large amounts of arms and ammunition.

The chief financial coordinator of the group, Muntasir Ahmed aka Bachchu, a senior leader and coordinator named Shujon aka Sohel, Md Ismail Hossain aka Hanzala aka Mansur and its third-highest ranked military coordinator Helal Ahmed aka Zakaria, were arrested on Nov 3.

Based on information from them and other detainees, the RAB conducted more raids. The arrests made on Sunday by the RAB Intelligence Branch and RAB-11 were based on a tip-off.

In the initial interrogation, the detainees confessed to organising activities for Jama'atul Ansar, supervising its members in training, and providing necessary equipment and material for training in the hill areas.

They were radicalised into extremism by close relatives, friends and local acquaintances about two to four years ago and received training themselves, including theoretical and practical, from senior members of the organisation.

Due to the recent operations against Jama’atul Ansar, they had gone into hiding, but were also following instructions from senior members of the organisation to collect money and other necessary materials for the group and deliver them to where they were needed.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher