The Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) has arrested seven students in connection with alleged involvement in militancy from different parts of the country, said a message from the Rab headquarters on Thursday.
The message from Rab media wing said that four of the arrestees went missing from their homes in Cumilla and elsewhere with suspected ties to radical groups. They were held in separate raids in and around the capital.
According to RAB, the arrested persons are members of a new militant outfit called, 'Jamatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya'.
RAB officials said that the seven students were arrested from different areas of Narayanganj, Munshiganj and Mymensingh on Wednesday night. The elite force said that they were arrested during a special anti-militant operation jointly carried out by the intelligence wing of RAB headquarters and RAB-11.
This information was disclose at a press conference held at RAB's media center in city’s Karwan Bazar on Thursday afternoon.
RAB said that the seven arrested were identified as Hossain Ahmed (33), Md. Neshar Uddin alias Umayer (34), Bani Amin (27), Imtiaz Ahmed alias Rifat (19), Md. Hasibul Islam (20), Roman Shikder (24), Md. Savit (19). Among them, Imtiaz and Hasibul's house is in Comilla. Hossain, Neshar, Boni and Sabit's house is in Patuakhali. Roman's house is in Gopalganj.
Commander Khandaker Al Moin, director of RAB's Legal and Media wing said, “We seized Jihadists materials from the arrested persons.”
RAB said that Hossain teaches in a madrasa in Patuakhali. According to him, the activities of the new militant organization started in 2017 by merging some members from various banned militant organizations.
This group has members from different levels of JMB, Ansar Al Islam and Huji. In 2019, the organization was renamed as 'Jamatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya'. Hossain was in charge of recruiting and supervising members of the organization. He used to prepare the members for armed attacks by imparting various theoretical knowledge and training.
Neshar was a scientific officer at a government institution. He was involved in militant activities before 2019. He was in charge of training and supervising the members who migrated. He also prepared the members with various theoretical knowledge and training for armed attacks.
Boni passed high school and did business in Patuakhali. He got involved in militancy through Hossain in 2020. He used to shelter and supervise the members.
Rifat is studying for a bachelor's degree in economics. Hasib is studying at higher secondary level. He was associated with an online business. They left their homes on August 23 this year. They got the initial idea about the new organization from the imam of a mosque in Comilla.
Roman worked in electrical and sanitary work in Gopalganj. He was inspired to radicalize by watching various videos online. He got an idea about the organization through a local person. He left of his home about a month ago.
Sabit worked as a storekeeper in a printing press in Uttara area. He was inspired to extremism by a relative and watching videos online. He went missing about a month ago.