Middle-East funded Gulshan, Sholakia attacks, mastermind identified: Dhaka Police

Dhaka, Sep 19 (IANS) The twin terror attacks in Bangladesh in July, on a cafe and an Eid congregation, were funded by laundered money from the Middle-East, and the mastermind of both attacks has been identified as Rajib Gandhi, Dhaka police claimed on Monday.

Talking to the press at the media centre of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crimes Unit chief, Monirul Islam said police have discovered one ‘hundi’ (money laundering) transaction of about $17,000 and evidences strongly suggests that the money was used in financing and procuring logistics, arms and ammunition for the attack, Dhaka tribune reported.

The police are yet to ascertain the exact source of the transaction, whether a foreigner or a non-resident Bangladeshi. “But we are certain that the money came from Mideast.”

Monirul named another militant — Rajib Gandhi alias Shuvash Gandhi alias Shanto — who is said to be the northern part leader of the banned militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

“He sent at least three recruits to attack the Gulshan café and Sholakia Eidgah from the north. We are looking for him and two others – Marjan, Basaruzzaman. We know two other leadership-level militants have fled to India,” The Daily Star quoted Monirul.

The chief also said they are yet to ascertain whether the exact source of the transaction was a foreigner or a non-resident Bangladeshi.

The July 1-2 attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery — a popular restaurant in Dhaka’s diplomatic zone — resulted in the death of 22 persons, including 17 foreigners and an 18-year-old Indian woman, Tarishi Jain.

A week later, an attack occurred during prayers in Sholakia Eidgah, where the largest Eid congregation takes place. Four more, including a couple of policemen, were killed.

–IANS

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