“Neo JMB” leader Hadisur Rahman Sagor yesterday confessed before a magistrate that he had supplied arms and explosives used in the Holey Artisan attack in the capital's Gulshan in 2016.
A week before the July 1 café attack, he handed over those to Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, chief coordinator of the militant outfit, police and court sources said.
Sagor, a member of sura (highest policymaking body), also admitted that he was present in several decision-making meetings of the IS-inspired militant group and was aware of the attack.
Mohibul Islam Khan, deputy commissioner of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit, told The Daily Star that Sagor made the confessional statement before the court.
Metropolitan Magistrate Golam Nabi recorded his statement for over four hours and sent the arrestee to jail.
Meanwhile, CTTC officials yesterday said they arrested a female militant suspect in a case filed over a blast in a hotel in the capital's Panthapath on August 15 last year.
Sagor, 36, had been involved with banned Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh since 2001 and joined the “Neo JMB” in 2015 when Tamim and several mainstream JMB leaders floated it. Tamim was killed during a police raid in Narayanganj on August 27, 2016.
Being a brother-in-law of the café attack “planner” Nurul Islam Marzan, Sagor was then made the chief of the southern region. He tried to build a bomb-making factory in Jhenidah with other militants, said a police official, citing the confessional statement.
In his long statement, he narrated how he joined JMB, what he did and disclosed the names of militants he knew, said the official seeking anonymity.
On March 22 this year, Bogra police arrested Sagor in Shibganj and handed him over to the CTTC unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police.
After his arrest, a police official said Sagor had supplied one AK-22 rifle, 22 bullets, two 7.62mm pistols and four hand grenades for the café attack, in which 20 people, including 17 foreigners, were killed. Two police officials also lost their lives as the militants attacked them when the two were trying to enter the café.
Instructed by Marzan, Sagor brought the arms and explosives, kept in a basket carrying mango, to Dhaka from Jessore in a bus. He then handed over those to Tamim on June 25, 2016, near the Kalyanpur bridge, the official added.
Marzan was killed in a “shootout” with police on January 6 last year.
Sagor, of Joypurhat, passed Dakhil exams from Joypurhat Kalua Koyrapara Dakhil Madrasa and Alim exams from Baniapara Aliakanda Madrasa.
FEMALE 'MILITANT' HELD
A team of CTTC arrested Humayra alias Nabila in the capital's Siddeshwari yesterday, said DC Mohibul Islam.
She was shown arrested in the Hotel Olio International blast case.
Nabila's husband Tanvir Yasin Karim, owner of Karim International and Darus Salam Publications, is also involved in militancy, police said.
On November 19 last year, Tanvir was arrested by a CTTC team. He is now in jail.
In his confessional statement, Karim reportedly said he used to provide money for “Neo JMB” and Nabila used to deliver the money to different places as per his directive, a CTTC high official told The Daily Star wishing not to be named.
The official said Nabila completed her HSC from a Dhaka school and BBA from a private university. She later did her Master's from a university in Malaysia. Nabila reportedly got involved in militancy while studying in the private university, said the official.
The official told this correspondent that Nabila used to carry out militant activities with the assistance of Akram Hossain Khan Niloy, 26, the “mastermind” behind the Hotel Olio International blast.
On March 22, Bogra police arrested Sagor and Niloy. Now Niloy is on a six-day police remand in an arms case filed with Pallabi Police Station, said Wahiduzzaman Noor, senior assistant commissioner of CTTC.
“Based on Niloy's information, we recovered a pistol, 105 detonators, two magazines and huge bomb-making materials hidden underwater near the Kalshi bridge on last Monday,” he said, adding that they were trying to find the source of the arms.