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B’desh:How police found the suicide bomber in a Dhaka hotel

16 August 2017 No Comment

by Kamal Talukder in bdnews24.com, Aug 15, 2017 at 23:53:50.0 BdST 

Detectives have been raiding hotels and lodgings in Bangladesh’s capital after learning of plans for ‘large-scale violence” two months before the mourning month, said Monirul Islam, head of police’s counterterror unit.

A madrasa student from Khulna, identified as Saiful Islam, he blew himself up on the fourth floor of Panthapath’s Hotel Olio International while it was surrounded by police on Tuesday morning.

The hotel is located some 300 metres from Dhanmondi Road-32, where the prime minister and president paid tribute to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, to mark the day of his assassination, observed as National Mourning Day.

But before the tribute ceremony started at 6am, police and SWAT personnel cordoned off the hotel near Square Hospitals, closing off a kilometer-stretch road from Russel Square to Green Road.
“We had information that the attackers were located very close. Yesterday evening, we found out that the plan was to stage large-scale violence on Aug 15. We also learned that they would be situated around Mirpur Road and Panthapath,” said Monirul.

Police then narrowed their search to Hotel Olio International and began raiding it around 3am.

“We called the boarders in the hotel during our search. They came out of the rooms and identified themselves. But the person inside the last room on the east side of the hotel’s fourth floor refused to come out,” said the counterterror chief.

“He said, ‘Who are you people? I’ll not open the door before its morning.”

The police team spotted a bag inside the room while looking through a window of the room. They locked the room from outside and returned to the lower floors.
The counterterror team began preparing for a raid by moving the other boarders to safety. Traffic on nearby streets was blocked and policemen were positioned in alleyways surrounding the hotel.

A fire truck arrived at the hotel in the morning. Local residents appeared concerned after seeing the measures taken during a national holiday.

The operation by counterterror police, SWAT, bomb-disposal unit and other agencies have been named ‘August Bite’.

Police asked Saiful to surrender, but he did not pay heed to the announcement, IGP Shahidul Hoque later told a media briefing.

“He blew up the door with an explosion when police started their operation. Police began firing before he was about to set off a second explosion. He had a suicide vest, and a bagpack. He killed himself using those.”

Who was Saiful?

According to the police, Saiful was a member of Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami.

His father Abul Khayer Molla, detained in the hours following his son’s death, is a treasurer for the Jamaat’s unit in Sahash Union of Khulna’s Dumuria Upazila.

Saiful, from Sahash’s Noakathi village, had enrolled to study political science at state-owned BL College after passing Alim exam from Khulna’s Alia Madrasa.

The Shibir activist, in his early 20s, was working for Neo-JMB, the revived faction of the outlawed Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh or JMB, said counterterror police chief Monirul.

He came to the capital on Aug 7 pretending to look for a job. He rented the room at Hotel Olio International on Monday morning.

His father Molla was questioned by Dumuria police for at least three hours.

Two more Noakathi villagers – Md Sunny, 22, and ‘Ihsan’, 21 – were detained over maintaining contact with Saiful. http://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2017/08/15/how-police-found-the-militant-who-blew-himself-up-in-dhaka-hotel

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