Jama’atul Ansar: Secretariat, jail on shortlist of targets
The Secretariat, Kashimpur jail, the premises of a court or law enforcers -- new militant outfit Jama'atul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya had planned to launch a major attack on either of these targets.
Amid the attention the attack would get, the militants would "launch" itself by releasing a video made over the last one year featuring their members and leaders receiving firearms training.
Investigators have learnt about this plan after interrogating arrested military wing chief of Jama'atul Ansar, Mashukur Rahman.
With the help from the Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF), an armed group in the hill tracts, six members of the militant outfit learned how to make explosives, said a Rab officer who interrogated Mashukur.
Khandaker Al Moin, director (legal and media) of Rab, said the video found on Mashukur's smartphone shows how trained and disciplined they are.
A Rab team arrested Mashukur and another suspect named Abul Bashar after a gunfight near Kutupalong Rohingya camp in Cox's Bazar on Monday.
Bashar has the expertise in using explosives, Moin said.
The militant outfit members worked on the video until September last year, but they could not complete it as law enforcers started a crackdown on the hills.
Key leaders of the outfit, including its ameer Anisur Rahman, are seen in the video. The members, many in brown and grey camouflage, are seen with assault rifles and sharp weapons.
Militant leaders from Ansar Al Islam, Harkatul Jihad Al Islami and Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh made plans of forming Jama'atul Ansar while they were in prison years ago.
However, it finally came into being in 2019. One of the key planners, Shamin Mahfuz, a former JMB leader, has been its adviser from the beginning.
Shamin, a former student of Dhaka University, has been a friend of KNF chief Nathan Bawm, who also studied in DU.
Top Jama'atul Ansar leaders and KNF chief Nathan made a three-year deal at the beginning of 2021 at a hotel in Cox's Bazar. The latter agreed to provide shelter, training on firearms and explosives and other support to the militants in exchange for Tk 3 lakh a month.
Rab also had information that the militants gave Tk 17 lakh to KNF to buy weapons. It came to know that the militants purchased an AK-22 and an AK-32 rifle to train the young recruits.