Dhaka: Bangladesh police on Saturday raided a militant hideout on the outskirts of the national capital, killing Dhaka cafe attack ‘mastermind’ Canadian-Bangladeshi Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury and two other Islamist extremists.
“The gunfight erupted this morning after police started raiding a building at Naraynganj’s Pikeparha,” Counter-terrorism Unit’s Additional Deputy Commissioner Sanowar Hossain was quoted as saying by the bdnews24.com.
The unit’s chief Monirul Islam earlier said the raid was conducted upon information gleaned from an arrested operative of the banned Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).
Police spokesman Jalaluddin confirmed to PTI that Tamim Chowdhury was among those killed this morning during the raid, the second major clampdown after the nine suspected Islamist terrorists were killed in the capital last month.
A joint team from Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit, police headquarters and district police cordoned off the house since the morning on information that a group of militants were staying there, superintendent of Narayanganj police Mainul Haq was quoted as saying by The Daily Star.
As the security forces tried to enter the house, the criminals opened fire from inside, he said.
Chowdhury, 30, was identified by police as the mastermind of the country’s worst terror attack on July 1 at a cafe in Dhaka that killed 22 people, including an Indian girl.
According to the investigators, he had accompanied the five attackers from their Bashundhara flat to Gulshan, Dhaka and left the area after bidding them farewell just before the cafe siege began on July 1.
The investigators also found his involvement in the Sholakia attack on the July 7 Eid day that killed four people, including two constables, an attacker, and a local woman.
Chowdhury was also the mentor of the nine militants who were killed in a police operation at Kalyanpur on July 26.
According to police, Chowdhury used to stay in Canada and might have developed a network of financiers abroad before coming to Bangladesh in 2013.
Police had announced Tk 2 million reward earlier this month for information leading to Chowdhury’s arrest.
ISIS had claimed responsibility for the cafe attack.
Investigators earlier identified Chowdhury as the leader of Neo-Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh, which analysts said was inclined to ISIS.
The police chief had earlier told PTI that Dhaka alerted Indian security agencies against Chowdhury’s possible intrusion to the neighbouring country as a nationwide manhunt was underway to track him down at home.
Chowdhury’s family hails from the northeastern Bangladesh district of Sylhet and his father Shafi Ahmed Chowdhury, who was a mariner, immigrated to Canada in the early 1970s.