The two men killed on Wednesday night in an “encounter” with detectives in the capital's Hazaribagh were leaders of a faction of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), detectives claimed yesterday.
This faction of the banned militant outfit is financed mainly by a quarter trying to foil the ongoing war crimes trial, they added.
The group was also responsible for the recent attacks at Hossaini Dalan and two police checkpoints at Gabtoli and Ashulia, said DB Joint Commissioner Monirul Islam at a briefing at the media centre of Dhaka Metropolitan Police.
According to detectives, a victim of Wednesday's “shootout” is Kamal alias Hiran, Dhaka regional commander of the outfit, and the other is Abdullah alias Noman, commander of Dhaka's northern command.
Hiran and JMB's explosive expert “Boma Shakil” slipped through law enforcers' fingers during a raid in Mirpur's Shah Ali area on December 24 last year, said Monir.
Hiran and Noman had been looking for Shakil to kill him after detectives busted their Mirpur den and seized a huge number of grenades, he added.
Some already arrested operatives of the JMB faction had told detectives that Hiran would carry out an attack on the DB office on Mintoo Road in the capital, said a DB official asking not to be named.
This faction of JMB became inactive opposing the leadership of Maulana Saidur Rahman after the execution of the outfit's top leaders. It started gaining strength only after some former activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir, pro-Jamaat student front, joined it, added the official.
At the briefing, Monirul also disclosed the identities of the three JMB members who were arrested on Wednesday from Kamrangirchar on the outskirts of the city.
They are Mohammad Arman, Jahid Hasan Rana alias Mushab and Noor Mohammad alias Lengra Master.
Yesterday, the DB remanded the three for six days each through a Dhaka court.
Detectives took the three to the capital's Hazaribagh and conducted a raid there. The “shootout” took place during the raid.
According to detectives, Rana was among the five JMB men who took part in the attack at Hossaini Dalan. Arman stashed bombs, which were used in the attack, at his Kamrangirchar house and later sheltered the attackers.
Noor used to give shelter to JMB men at his Savar residence.
Detectives claimed to have recovered two guns, a knife, two bullets and a motorcycle, which was used in Ashulia operation, from the Kamrangirchar house and Hazaribagh.
The November 4 attack on cops in Ashulia, in which a policeman was killed, was not preplanned. Some JMB operatives went to the area to attack two foreigners who used to go for their morning walk near BKSP there, said DB sources.
“But they failed to find the two foreigners. While returning, they attacked the police checkpoint to avenge the death of their fellow member Javed in a grenade blast in police custody [in Chittagong],” said a DB official.
Monirul said the JMB's bomb-producing den in Mirpur was frequented by the dead and the three arrestees. The militants also received training there.
Militants used to undergo two-month training before carrying out any planned attack, he added.
DB officials claimed that the JMB men rented some houses in and outside the capital of which at least 14 have been busted so far by law enforcers.
According to Monirul, the country's northern region is the den of JMB. Only a handful of JMB operatives are active now in the capital.
The bodies of the two shootout victims were at the Dhaka Medical College morgue last night, said hospital sources.