Dhaka militants changed dress after Fazr prayers when they saw end coming

A black cloth inscribed with Arabic words at the “militant den” in the city's Kalyanpur. The cloth resembles the flag seen with IS militants in photos run by media. Photo: DMP

The militants who were killed in gunfight with the law enforcers early morning Tuesday changed their dress after the Fazr prayers and wore black punjabis, said a neighbour who observed the militants time to time from around midnight till dawn from an adjacent building.

The neighbour was staying at the fifth floor of a building that is very close to the militants’ den in House 51, Road 5, Kalyanpur popularly known as Jahajbari. He along with others caught glimpses of the militants in their fourth floor apartment that has a balcony.

The militants often came out to the balcony and kept the door to the balcony open until after the Fazr prayers, he told The Daily Star.

The neighbour who kept track of these young militants until dawn said that they were all wearing general clothes at night. They were carrying guns and knives, he said preferring anonymity on security grounds.

“Through the balcony door I saw them burn something inside their room,” he said. “Later I learnt that it was money.”

“Following the Fazr Azan, the youths said their prayers and changed their dress and wore black Punjabi. After they said their prayers they shut the balcony door. Since then I could not see anything more,” he said.

Militants expressed allegiance to IS chief

He also audio-taped conversations of the terrorists at Kalyanpur den in Dhaka with the police, which reveals that the militants said they were loyal to their “Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi”.

Baghdadi is the chief of the so-called Islamic State (IS).

The Daily Star has obtained the audio recording.

At around 1:30am on Tuesday, after the law enforcers cordoned off the terrorists’ den at Jahajbari House in Kalyanpur, the militants loudly spoke to the police from their fourth floor balcony.

According to the audio tape, a militant said, “We are extending our allegiance to our Caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. We shall listen to him. We are with him irrespective of our happiness and sorrow. Insha Allah. Allahu Akbar!”

Most part of the audio is however too noisy to be understood and transcribed. The person who recorded the audio said that he wanted to video record it, but as there was no light he decided to record the audio when the militants were screaming to the police below.

The neighbours became alerted about something serious going on at the Jahajbari when a bomb blasted at around midnight. This blast followed some gunshots and then silence prevailed for a while.

“We did not see any police from our building,” said a neighbour. “But we understood from our floor that there were police and criminals around.”

The lights have been turned off due to security perpose and for safety.

Then after a while this neighbour saw some young people on the fourth floor shouting and screaming. “We assumed they were screaming at the police,” said he. “They were cursing the police in dirty names.”

“I heard them saying that—you are wearing bullet proof vests, we don’t need bullet proof vests because we are soldiers of Allah. If you have the courage, open your vests and come forward,” he added.

He added that the militants said “We shall be martyrs and we will go to heaven. We don’t care."