Country’s first bomb archive goes online
The country's first-ever "Bomb Data Centre" is now ready and to provide details of any bomb-like object within moments just analysing its picture.
Officials, who are on duty round the clock, will not only help to identify the explosive object but also give advice on how to detonate it.
The Bomb Disposal Unit (BDU) of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit has set up the data centre with a cost of Tk 50 lakh.
The data centre has become operational since yesterday.
Inside the centre, there have an archive of all types of explosives and Improvised Explosives Device (IED) used by militant outfits, political parties or industrial explosions since the year 2000.
The archive so far has around 61 slots and the officials preserved all the IED's replicas found so far in different attacks and blasts in these slots with a bar code.
You just need to scan the bar-code and the details of the IED or bomb will be displayed on a monitor with a description of which criminal group used it, type of IED, elements used inside, source and how many were arrested so far, according to officials.
Md Asaduzzaman, chief of CTTC unit, told The Daily Star yesterday that the data centre will help speeding up explosives related cases investigation as it already has all types of IED's history and who used those IED's.
"The centre will also keep communication with a developed country and take information if any new IED's found anywhere in the world," he said.
The CTTC chief said that people got panicked when they found an IED.
"We have earlier seen that due to mishandled and not having proper knowledge, people often got hurt. The data centre will help create awareness. People will get knowledge and notify local police so that action can be taken immediately," said the CTTC chief.
During a visit yesterday, five separate sections were found in the data centre.
"Bomb Archive", in where, IED and Bomb replica used in political program and militants' attacks like Holey Artisan café attack, Tazia Possession, Narayanganj police outpost attack, Moulvibazar and Ashkona militant hideout was kept.
The second section is "IED Research Centre", where the officials preserved the worlds latest IED related research, analysis and books.
There is a Data Fusion Corner in the centre, from where, officials will be on duty round the clock and give feedback, advice and input to all other police units.
There is also "Technical Intelligence" corner to keep data about how to diffuse IED, collect biometric and collect evidence to submit in court.
And finally, there is "Chemical Exploitation" corner to check and analyse different types of chemicals used in IED.
Rahmat Ullah Chowdhury, in-charge of BDU unit, told The Daily Star that the bomb data centre will be a centre of excellence for Bangladesh police to provide knowledge on IED.
"BDU is the only trained team in police and it has to respond to bomb calls across the country. We have to respond to around 10 calls on an average every day. Due to continuous analysis, the centre will be able to help officials to diffuse IED safely and it will also reduce the risk factor," he said.
A team of Bangladesh Army and US Central Intelligence Agency (FBI) have already visited the data centre and praised the initiatives, according to officials.
Regarding the use of IED by militant outfits, BDU officials said three homegrown militant outfits – Huji, JMB and Neo JMB – were mainly found to use the IED and bombs.
But all of the IED's were prepared by the militant outfit watching different tutorials and videos and the elements were also collected from a local source, they said.
For this reason, the data centre is also keeping the updated data of the country's chemical traders and which type of chemicals they are selling so that it did not goes to any wrong hands.
Abdul Mannan, deputy commissioner of special action group of CTTC unit, told The Daily Star that they are working to turn these bomb data centre into an institute, from where the officials working in law enforcement agencies can receive training.
"We have also plan to share intelligence and dataset with developed countries so that the people from the abroad can also get the scope to have training from the centre," he added.