JMB chief Saidur held
Police have arrested JMB chief Maulana Saidur Rahman, his wife and three other top leaders of the banned Islamist outfit.
They made the arrests in the capital and Narayanganj on Monday and early yesterday.
Besides Saidur alias Zafar, the others detained are his third wife Naima Akhter, JMB's military coordinator Amir Hossain alias Sharif and ehsar (full-time) members Nur Hossain alias Sabuj and Abdullah Hel Kafi.
During the raids, the cops recovered a huge cache of bomb-making materials, firearms and ammunition and jihadi books.
The arrestees except Naima were paraded before the media at the police headquarters yesterday afternoon.
There, Inspector General of Police Nur Mohammad said several militant organisations are still operative in the country and they might have an alliance.
Replying to a query, he said that since militancy is now a global phenomenon, Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh might have connections with militant groups in neighbouring countries.
He also said they are trying to gather if JMB has a suicide squad.
The police chief claimed they arrested Saidur, his wife and ehsar member Abdullah Hel Kafi at a house in the city's East Dania on Monday night.
A team drawing members from the police headquarters, DMP, SB, Criminal Investigation Department and Detective Branch conducted the swoops, he added.
Some sources in law enforcement agencies however say police arrested the JMB chief at least three days before they made the news public yesterday.
Additional IGP (admin) NBK Tripura, Special Branch (SB) chief additional IGP Zaved Patwary, additional IGP (rector) Naim Ahmed and Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner AKM Shahidul Hoque were present at the press conference.
A handout issued by the police headquarters later said military wing coordinator Amir Hossain alias Sharif and ehsar member Nur Hossain were picked up from Sharif's house at Painadi in Narayanganj early yesterday.
A live bomb fitted to a belt usually worn by suicide squad members, several belts, one pistol, two magazines, hand-made bullets and a huge amount of explosives and bomb-making equipment were recovered from Sharif's house and a large stash of leaflets and jihadi books from Saidur's possession.
Saidur took over as JMB boss in February 2006, shortly after the arrest of Shaekh Abdur Rahman, the then JMB supremo.
The same month that year, Rapid Action Battalion raided his Shibganj house in Sylhet and recovered huge explosives.
Saidur had long been on the run. In absentia, he had been sentenced to 14 years in jail in an explosives case.
The IGP said JMB's organisational strength had waned much after the execution of Shaekh Abdur Rahman and other top brass. But in recent months, the organisation has been regrouping its cadres.
Since the serial blasts across the country in 2005, the law enforcers arrested over 600 JMB leaders and activists.
Of them, Shaekh Abdur Rahman, his deputy Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai, Rahman's brother Ataur Rahman Sunny, brother-in-law Abdul Awal, suicide bomber Iftekhar Hasan Mamun and Majlis-e-Shura member Khaled Saifullah were executed on March 29, 2008 for killing two Jhalakathi judges on November 14, 2005.