Tamim the mastermind
He had not only masterminded the Holey Artisan attack in Gulshan, but also coordinated the killing of 20 diners, 17 of them foreigners, on July 1, 2016.
This is how the Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal court described the role of Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, a Canadian of Bangladeshi origin, in yesterday’s verdict.
Tamim, who had a bounty of Tk 20 lakh on his head, was killed along with two accomplices in an operation codenamed Hit Strong 27 at his hideout in Paikpara area of Narayanganj on August 27, 2016.
Tamim identified himself as Shaykh Abu Ibrahim Al-Hanif (Amir of the Khilafah’s Soldiers in Bengal) in the 12th issue of the so-called Islamic State’s propaganda magazine Dabiq in 2015.
In the verdict, Judge Md Majibur Rahman cited the confessional statement of convict Aslam Hossain Rash to explain Tamim’s role, and why the attack was carried out.
Aslam wanted to know from Tamim the reason behind the attack in Gulshan or in the diplomatic neighbourhood, it said.
In reply, Tamim said their organisation, Neo-JMB, was inspired by the international terrorist organisation, IS, and it was necessary to launch an attack in the diplomatic area in Gulshan to draw the attention of IS, added the court, quoting Aslam.
“Therefore, it is established that the Holey Artisan attack was led by Tamim Chowdhury,” said the court.
“The members of Neo-JMB, following the plan of Tamim Chowdhury, attacked at Holey Artisan in Gulshan to seek the attention of IS and establish so-called Jihad in Bangladesh…,” it said.
Born on July 25, 1986, Tamim graduated in chemistry from the University of Windsor in spring 2011 and then travelled to Calgary, according to police.
Not only the Gulshan café attack, police believe that he was the mastermind of Sholakia Eidgah attack on July 7, 2016, where four people, including an attacker, died.
Police on August 1, 2016, announced a bounty of Tk 20 lakh on Tamim.