Five still in DB custody
Five of the 27 people who were either rescued or detained from the Gulshan restaurant following Friday's attack were still in police custody last night. Law enforcers were verifying whether they had any links with the attackers.
A DB official said it was possible that some of the five could have been aides to the gunmen and mingled with hostages after the attack.
One of those in custody is a Bangladesh born Canadian citizen. He returned home only the day before the attack and went to the restaurant with his two female friends.
The girls were students of a private university where some of the attackers also studied, said the official, wishing not to be named.
“This prompted us to keep him on the suspicion list,” he said.
A relative of another in custody said investigators were contacting their Canadian counterparts to see his record there.
Police also visited his house and took his computers, passport and some books for investigation, added the relative.
Another of the five in custody is a man who is from Dagan Bhuiyan in Feni. During interrogation, he gave police his permanent address but it was found to be wrong.
The man told investigators that he used to lead prayers for drivers working at a building near the Holey Artisan Bakery. Investigators were verifying the claim.
Another suspect was from Jaldhaka of Nilphamari, said the official, adding that he gave investigators nothing but his name during the interrogation, leading to suspicion.
Apart from the five, another man, who was released, has been now under the investigators' watch.
The man, who was seen talking to one of the attackers in a video that emerged online, was around 45 and a Bangladesh born UK citizen.
He returned home one and a half years ago, after staying in the UK for about 20 years.
Since then, he has been teaching at the private university where some one of the attackers reportedly studied.
He had gone to the restaurant with his family members.
The DB official also said five of the attackers killed in the “Operation Thunderbolt” were members of the suicide squad of the banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh.
He said they had information that JMB has seven to eight suicide squad members and two of them had already been killed.
The Daily Star could not independently verify the claims.
Earlier, 22 of the 27 rescued or detained from the Gulshan cafe were released and their families communicated with them after a long wait.
They were taken to the DB office on Saturday morning.
Before their release, their family members passed anxious hours.
A mother of one of them said, "The officers told us that they need to complete some formalities with them. They also told us not to be worried as they will send our family members back home by their vehicles."
"Haven't they completed the formalities even in the last 33 hours?" she asked.
The Daily Star is withholding their names for security reasons.
The mother said her son along with his wife and their children -- one is 13 and another eight -- went to the upscale restaurant to celebrate his daughter's birthday.
Their world turned upside down when the news of holding their son hostage circulated. The parents waited anxiously till morning beside the police cordon outside the restaurant.
As the army-led commando operation came to an end around 8:30am on Saturday, the four came out of the restaurant and reunited with their family. Minutes later, they were taken to the DB office to give their accounts, said the father of the rescued son.
Meanwhile, the bodies of the 20 victims are expected to be taken to the Army Stadium today.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to pay tributes to the victims at 10:00am.
The bodies of the three Bangladeshis will be handed over to their families and the 17 bodies of the foreign nationals to the representatives of the governments of Japan and Italy, sources said.