Dhaka: The Bangladesh Police on Saturday identified one of the suspects behind the Dhaka cafe attack as Bangladesh-origin Canadian citizen Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury. He is suspected as being the head of the local chapter of the Islamic State, according to a media report.
An police officer on condition of anonymity told, that during an overnight security raid at Kalyanpur area in Dhaka about four days ago the police got a clue and was able to identify Tamim Chowdhury as the prime architect of the recent Dhaka cafe attack that killed at least 22 people, mostly foreigners. Indian national Tarishi Jain was among the 22 people killed in the attack.
“We found Tamim Chowdhury to be the mastermind of the two (back-to-back terrorist) attacks… a manhunt was launched to track him down as we think, he now lives in Bangladesh since his return (from Canada) three years ago,” he said.
According to a police report, Tamim allegedly held meetings with militants in their hideout in Kalyanpur area to inspire them and provide financial assistance to carry out terrorist activities.
The police report further mentioned that the sole surviving suspect Rakibul Hasan told interrogators that they received arms, funding and weapons from the banned outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangaldesh (JMB).
Believed to be in his mid-30s, Chowdhury aka Sheikh Abu Ibrahim al-Hanif reportedly left Canada in 2013 itself and has been identified by numerous terrorism experts and analysts as the head of Islamic State in Bangladesh. He was also working with domestic and foreign militant groups ever since he left Canada for Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Police counter-terrorism chief Monirul Islam has described Tamim Chowdhury as the head of a new faction of JMB. Reports mention investigators saying JMB has two factions – one led by group’s incarcerated leader Saidur Rahman and the other headed by Chowdhury.
Though Dhaka Police have found Islamic State flags at the Kalyanpur building and the terror group themselves claimed the attack on Holey Artisan bakery, Bangladeshi officials have continued to reiterate that IS has no presence in the country. The Holey Artisan Bakery attack was Bangladesh’s worst terrorist attack in Dhaka’s high-security diplomatic zone that killed 22 people mostly foreigners.