Bangladesh police identify cafe attack masterminds, offer cash reward

Bangladesh police on Tuesday identified the Dhaka cafe attack planners and announced a two-million-taka reward (25,500 dollars) for information leading to their arrest.

Tamim Chowdhury and a former army major named Zia were said to be the masterminds of last month's attack on Gulshan cafe, according to AKM Shahidul Haque, the police inspector general.

“We will not publish the names of the informers," Haque added.

On July 1, attackers took hostages at the Holey Artisan Bakery restaurant in the upscale Gulshan district of Dhaka, eventually killing 20 civilians, mostly foreign nationals.

Two security officials were also killed, while six suspected militants were killed by commandos who stormed the restaurant the following day.

Chowdhury is a Bangladesh-origin Canadian citizen, who reportedly returned to Bangladesh from Canada three years ago.

In 2005, Jammatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh masterminded a series of bombings across Bangladesh that killed 30 people and injured more than 250. The group, which has campaigned for sharia law to be imposed in the Muslim-majority country, was banned after the attacks.

"During our investigation, we found that Tamim Chowdhury is the mastermind. He is leading the new JMB," Haque said. "There is another group named Ansarullah Bangla team and we are assuming that Major Zia is leading that group.”

Regarding the whereabouts of Tamim, the police official said: “He might be in the country or abroad. We are looking for him. He was in the country before the Gulshan attack.”

He also said police have learned that Tamim recruited and briefed the Gulshan attackers before the attack.

Last update: Tue, 02/08/2016 - 13:49
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