Update: A woman terrorist blew herself off outside the door of the room they were hiding in. Reports say 1 is injured.
Dhaka: The Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) has encircled a three-storey building in Dhaka’s Ashkona where several suspected militants are believed to have been hiding.
Slain Neo JMB leader Tanvir Qaderi’s son and two others, holed up in the building raided by Dhaka police on Saturday, have threatened to exploded grenades tied to their bodies.
Police said four others, holed up with the militants in that building at Dhaka’s Ashkona, have surrendered. Dead militant former Bangladesh Army major Jahidul Islam’s wife and daughter were among those who surrendered.
A team from the counterterrorism unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) cordoned off a three-storey building at Ashkona in the capital’s Dakhshin Khan early on Saturday.
Around 9am, Jahid’s wife ‘Jebennuhar’ turned herself over to the police with three others.
She told police that three others, including two females were still inside. DMP chief Asaduzzaman Mia told journalists on the spot that there were three militants still inside the building. “They have huge amount of explosives and suicide vests,” said Commissioner Mia.
Officials on the spot said those who were still inside were threatening to explode grenades.
“Those inside have been repeatedly asked to surrender. But they are threatening to detonate grenades tied to their bodies,” said Uttara Fire Service’s Senior Station Officer Shafikul Islam.
Fire-fighting units have been kept on a stand-by on the scene since 5:15am and several others are ready to be deployed, he added.
Senior counterterrorism officer Sanowar Hossain said one of those still inside was Neo JMB leader Tanvir Qaderi’s son. The identities of two others are yet to be confirmed, added the DMP additional deputy commissioner. Tanvir was the man who was found dead during the Sep 10 raid at the Azimpur house. Forensic experts said he had committed suicide.
His wife Adedatul Fatema alias Khadija and one the couple’s twin sons were arrested from the house in Azimpur near the BGB Headquarters. Hailing from Gaibandha, Tanvir graduated in accounting from the Dhaka College and later completed his post-graduate studies from a private university.
He had worked in two private firms before joining Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited’s mobile-banking department. In 2001, he married Fatema, a journalism graduate from the Dhaka University, who worked for the international development agency ‘Save the Children.’
According to Tanvir’s relatives, parents and friends noticed the couple sliding into religious extremism after they returned from Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.
Fatema also started wearing hijab at the time. But the relatives did not know anything about their link to militancy.
Police said Tanvir took the charge of Neo-Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (Neo-JMB) as its coordinator after the terror outfit’s leader Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury was killed in a raid in Narayanganj in August. Hel left the bank job after returning from Saudi Arabia in 2014 and launched his own business – ‘Al Sakina Home Delivery Service’.
Police say it was then he had been radicalised. He had rented the apartment for the Gulshan cafe attackers under the alias Abdul Karim. He also used another alias, ‘Shamsed’, according to investigators.
Former military officer Jahid, whose wife surrendered during Saturday’s raid, got involved with the Neo JMB two years ago after leaving the army. Police said he was the second-in-command of ‘top Neo-JMB leader’ Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury and the military commander of the group.
Officials related to the investigation also said it was Jahid who had trained the men, who carried out the terror attacks in Gulshan and Sholakia. Counterterrorism officer Sanowar Hossain said the two other females, who surrendered with Jahid’s wife and child on Saturday, were the spouse and daughter of one of Neo JMB’s current leaders ‘Musa.’
DMP Commissioner Mia said a pistol and some ammunition were found on those who turned themselves over to law enforcers. He said they have urged those who were still inside to surrender.