Militants will revamp themselves and carry out further strikes in the country if snatched JMB convicts Salauddin Ahmed alias Salehin and Zahidul Islam alias Boma Mizan remain at large, say terrorism experts.
Salehin is capable of regrouping the activists of the banned Islamist outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) while explosives expert Mizan can improve the outfit's capacity to orchestrate subversive activities.
Mizan was named Boma Mizan for his skills in making different types of explosives. However, the worst would be if he delegated his expertise to other militant organisations.
Experts say the duo must be arrested before they take up their roles -- regrouping and enriching the JMB to carry out attacks like that in Trishal, in which JMB elements on Sunday snatched Salehin, Mizan and Rakib Hasan Russell alias Hafez Mahmud from police custody.
Rakib, a Majlish-e-Shura member of JMB, was however recaptured five hours after his "rescue" and killed in a shootout with law enforcers in Mirzapur, Tangail in the early hours yesterday.
The law enforcement agencies are continuing their drives to arrest Salehin and Mizan but could not succeed until filing of this report at 8:00pm.
The government has announced a Tk 5 lakh bounty on the duo.
Former inspector general of police (IGP) Nurul Huda thinks Salehin as a JMB policymaker will try to coordinate organisational activities, while Boma Mizan might help other militants execute subversive operations.
"They are all potential threats and capable of creating trouble," he told The Daily Star, urging the government to beef up its watch on militant operatives across the country.
Rab Media Director Wing Commander ATM Habibur Rahman suspects if the two snatched convicts remain at large, militants might try to revive the outfit's network which needed years of crackdown operations to destroy.
"As a Shura member of JMB, Salehin was in a decision-making position and played the lead role in different attacks," said the Rab official.
On the other hand, he said, Mizan had once been the head of the JMB's military wing and well-known for his bomb-making expertise.
"He has special training in making bombs and was involved in many bomb attacks," said the Rab media director, adding that Mizan had also been involved in militant operations outside the country.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at a cabinet meeting yesterday directed the home ministry and law enforcers to arrest the two snatched convicts as soon as possible.
She said the borders had been sealed off to ensure that the two JMB convicts did not flee the country.
Expressing dissatisfaction over transporting such "dangerous" militants with only three to four policemen on guard, she directed that security be beefed up in prisons, especially while transporting militants to and from the courts, said meeting sources.
Hasina also told the cabinet that Sunday's incident had proved that militants were still active in the country.
"Law enforcement and intelligence agencies were conducting coordinated drives to catch the snatched convicts. We hope to recapture them soon," Home Secretary CQK Mustaq Ahmed told The Daily Star last night.
12:01 AM, February 25, 2014 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:53 AM, March 08, 2015