Members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) have arrested four members of a newly formed militant outfit Jama'atul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya from Sylhet’s airport area, reports UNB.
Confirming their arrest in a press conference on Tuesday, RAB-9 said they conducted an overnight drive based on intelligence on Monday and arrested the militants.
The arrestees are Abdullah Maymoon alias Mumin, 34, shura member of Jama'atul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya and head of its dawati branch, Md Abu Zafar Tahan, 40, son of late Sheikh Abdus Salam Master of Faridpur, Md Aktar Kaji Sayeed, 38, son of late Mostafa Kazi of Chandpur’s Matlab North upazila, Salahuddin Razzak Mollah, 32, son of late Abdur Razzak from Gopalganj's Muksedpur area.
RAB said they recovered Tk 200,000 in cash, electronic devices used for militant activities and other important documents in the drive.
RAB-9 media officer Afsan-Al-Alam, at the press conference, said, “They were trained by the separatist organisation Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) – based in Chattogram Hill Tracts. They also have links with Ansar al-Islam.”
“Abdullah Maymoon used to collect money from different countries in different innovative ways and provide financial supports for weapons and training of new terrorist organisations. He also worked as a bridge between militant outfit Ansar al-Islam and Jama'atul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya.”
At the press conference, RAB said that the arrestees rented a house in Barashala area of Sylhet suburb a week ago.
RAB-9 said the arrested Abdullah Maymoon completed Dakhil from a local madrasa in Sylhet. He got involved in militancy after watching videos of Muslims being tortured in Palestine, Myanmar, Iraq and other places on internet.
In 2013, a local man persuaded him to join Ansar al-Islam. He was also the chief of Ansar al-Islam in Sylhet division.
Maymoon was arrested in 2019 in an anti-terrorism case and spent a year in jail before going out on bail in 2020. Later, when his bail was cancelled, he went into hiding.
In 2021, Maymoon joined Jama'atul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya and went to the hills through Shura members Ranbir and Manik.
Being the Sylhet divisional chief of Ansar al-Islam, he was appointed as the Shura member and head of the Dawati branch of the organisation.
RAB officials said that legal action is being taken against the arrestees.
The RAB has so far arrested 68 members and leaders of Jama'atul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya after knowing about it existence in 2022 while investigating the disappearance of eight youths in Cumilla.
At least 17 members of KNF were also arrested for assisting the militants in training and other activities in the hills.