Bangla alerts India about café attack mastermind

Bangladesh has alerted Indian security agencies that the mastermind of the deadly Dhaka cafe terror attack may have fled to India, amid a nationwide manhunt to track down the Bangladeshi-Canadian, police chief said on Monday.

“We have alerted the Indian security agencies against his (Tamim Chowdhury’s) possible escape to India to evade the arrest,” Bangladesh Police chief AKM Shahidul Hoque told PTI.

He said a massive manhunt is underway to track down Bangladeshi-Canadian Chowdhury as he is suspected to be the mastermind of the recent terrorist attacks in the country.

Mr Hoque said during his recent New Delhi visit accompanying Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, he alerted the chiefs of National Investigation Agency (NIA) and CBI against Chowdhury and “Indian security agencies are looking for him as well”.

“Chowdhury could be the key-operative of (Syria-based) IS in Bangladesh,” he said, but quickly added that no proof of IS link to the recent terror attacks were found so far, reiterating the government’s stance on the issue.

A newspaper earlier reported that Chowdhury appeared as the leader and main financier of a reorganised Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) while Bangladesh earlier attributed the two attacks to the outfit.

Mr Hoque, however, said a reconstituted JMB, which he preferred to call “neo-JMB”, was identifying them as IS operatives in Bangladesh.

A senior officer at the police headquarters supplemented Mr Hoque, saying the new outfit, mostly led by close relatives of the original outfit, adopted a revised philosophy for the outfit three years ago which was inclined to that of IS.

Independent security analysts earlier said JMB or neo-JMB was inclined to ISIS while another banned outfit called Ansarullah Bangla Team was ideologically linked to al-Qaeda.

The police chief’s comments came days after Bangladesh identified Chowdhury as the mastermind of the July 1 terrorist attack on a Dhaka cafe.

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