<i>Trained female JMB militants appear on scene for first time</i>
Noor Jahan, one of the females, arrested at the JMB den at Ghortoil in Gazipur, took a SIM out of a cellphone and broke it into pieces with her teeth in the blink of an eye when police raided the place.
Sub-inspector (SI) of Tongi Police Station Sirajul Islam, who was present during the arrest, said, "I strongly believe Noor Jahan and the other two women arrestees are JMB members."
The women acted like trained Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) members, Sirajul said, adding that they destroyed the papers and documents in their bags so that police can get little evidence.
SI Sirajul said the three women's response to police questions during interrogation is very much identical to those of male JMB members. They all remained firm during quizzing.
If the police claim is found to be true, this would be the first ever arrest of trained female JMB operatives.
"We did not have any information to suspect that JMB has any female members. But activities of the three women led us to suspect that JMB has trained woman members too," Sirajul said.
Besides Noor Jahan, police also arrested Marzia and Mina during the raid at the JMB den.
The women arrestees, however, did not admit that they were JMB members rather they claimed themselves to be related to certain people. Police claim their relatives are JMB operatives.
Police said locals do not even know the three women as they always wear burqa outdoors.
Since the synchronised JMB bomb attack in all but one district in Bangladesh on August 17, 2005, there was no evidence of JMB having trained women. Rather, JMB operatives used women strategically to create a family environment so that no one suspected anything.
A Rab official said a reference of a woman's support in JMB was found after the wife of Bangla Bhai was arrested. But she was not a JMB member or trained.
"We did not have any evidence that JMB has a woman wing or trained woman members," the Rab official said.
Police and Rab officials suspect Mamunur Rashid, who exploded the grenade during a press briefing yesterday, might be a member of the JMB suicide squad since none can risk their lives without strong motivation.