Police arrested six “members of banned militant outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (Huji)”, including its “Kushtia regional commander”, in the capital's Kotwali area on Tuesday evening.
The arrestees were active members of Huji and loyal to the outfit's convicted leader Mufti Abdul Hannan, who is now in jail, said Additional Commissioner Monirul Islam, chief of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), at a press briefing at the DMP Media Centre yesterday.
He claimed that the group was preparing to carry out attacks on cultural programmes and on secular-minded cultural and political leaders in the capital and elsewhere.
The aim of the attack was also to draw attention of international terror organisations and get funding from those, according to police.
On information, a police team arrested the Huji members at a park in Zindabahar area on Tuesday evening while they were holding a meeting there.
Of the arrestees, four are from Kushtia. They are -- regional commander Sazzadul Alam alias Mukti Sir, a mathematics teacher of Lahini High School in Kushtia; Mejbahur Rahman alias Pradip, driver of fire service and civil defence in the district's Mirpur; Mohammad Ashraful Alam, a computer shop owner; and Abul Bashar, a student and also an imam of Kushtia Nagar Jame Masjid.
Two others -- Shafiqul Islam alias Palash, and Azizur Rahman -- are employees of garment factories.
Replying to a query, Monirul said the four came to Dhaka from Kushtia to attend a secret meeting.
“We suspect that they gathered in the capital to carry out subversive activities,” he said.
Regarding financial support of the group, Monirul said the leaders and operatives used to give money from their earnings to the organisational activities, including publication of literatures, bearing expenditure of cases filed against their leaders, and supporting their operatives in need.
The DMP spokesperson said the Huji men needed to be interrogated further to know if the outfit existed in other districts and to know more about their financial supports.
Police were trying to arrest other operatives of the group. A case was filed with Kotwali Police Station under the Anti-Terrorism Act.