Neo JMB planned to make bombs with chloroform
The IS-inspired militant outfit Neo JMB was planning to make chloroform bombs for carrying out attacks in buses, classrooms, and at public places, claimed Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) officials.
The outfit's plan was to "kill silently" and it even conducted tests on frogs, which swelled up and died, the officials said.
The military wing of the outfit had started work to make the chloroform bombs with the blessings of Neo JMB ameer Mahadi Hasan Jon. The outfit's bomb expert Jahid Hasan alias Ismail Hasan Furkan was coordinating it.
The CTTC unit claimed to have unearthed the plans following the arrests and interrogation of several Neo JMB bomb makers, including Furkan.
Rahmat Ullah Chowdhury, in-charge of the bomb disposal unit of CTTC, told The Daily Star yesterday, "The outfit is planning to use the chemical for silent killing. But we are aware of it and have already intensified vigilance.
"We have already held meetings with chemical suppliers so that chloroform is not available in the black market … ," he said.
Nazrul Islam Selim, former president of Bangladesh Scientific Instrument Dealers Association, told The Daily Star that chloroform is mainly used by pharmaceutical companies in the country. Besides, the authorities concerned of the education sector buy the chemical, he said.
"We do not sell chloroform without documents. We are now more aware and check every record even though chloroform alone cannot be harmful. Someone needs to add something to the chemical [to make it lethal]," Selim claimed.
CTTC officials claimed that since getting hold chloroform was difficult, Furkan, with instructions from Jon, was trying get a job in a chemical factory to siphon out the knockout drug.
Furkan was a chemistry student of Jahangirnagar University.
"Furkan applied for assistant manager post in two chemical factories just two and half months ago and his plan was to bring barrels of the chemical out of these factories," said a high official of CTTC unit requesting anonymity.
"He trained a member of the military wing of the outfit on how to make the chloroform bombs. We are now trying to identify the member by interrogating Furkan on remand," said the official.
Furkan and his two associates -- Saiful Islam Maruf alias Basira and Rumman Hasan Fahad alias Abdullah -- were arrested by CTTC on Tuesday at Kafrul in the capital.
Yesterday was the first day of their four-day remand.
Investigators said Neo JMB was trying to make time bombs too as their attempts to trigger remote-controlled bombs failed on a number of occasions over the last couple of years due to defective controllers.
Another official of the CTTC claimed that Furkan made the circuit for the time bombs.
"We have recovered the circuit details from his possessions. We are now trying to find out how many of the outfit members know the technique."
Rahmat said they have learnt that Furkan trained at least 15 Neo JMB members on making IEDs.
"We have already arrested some of them and we are now trying to get details of the members on the run," he added.
Prof Ridwanur Rahman, medicine specialist at the Ayesha Memorial Hospital, told The Daily Star yesterday that excessive chloroform can be lethal. "So, we always need to be cautious while applying chloroform on human body," he added.