Huji training camp busted
5 leaders held, explosives recovered
5 leaders held, explosives recovered Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami members, arrested along with explosives and bomb making materials by Rab in Chittagong, are paraded before media yesterday.Photo: STARStar Report
The Rapid Action Battalion busted a hilltop training camp of Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (Huji) in Chittagong early yesterday and held five leaders of the banned militant outfit with some training materials and explosives.
The detained Huji operatives admitted to Rab of running training in the hilly areas for the last few months, sending a chilling message to the law enforcers that the outfit which is responsible for major deadly attacks in the country rears its head again.
Although a good number of Huji top tier leaders are still on the run, the law enforcers have been assuming that the outfit has no strength to continue its subversive activities.
Inspector General of Police Hassan Mahmood Khandker said they have arrested many such elements, but many are still at large and active.
"We are continuously after militants and hooligans and hopefully we would be able to arrest others who are still evading arrest," he told The Daily Star.
The Huji set up training camps in the remote hilly forest areas in early 1990s and ran those till the crackdown after the August 17 serial blasts in 2005.
Following an intelligence report the Rab members first captured Mahfuzul Rahman alias Apu, 29, of Mymensingh at Amanbazar in Hathazari upazila around 4:30pm on Sunday. Acting on information he gave, the elite force raided the makeshift bamboo-made training facility at a hilly rubber garden at Godarpar near Kaokhali in Raozan.
After a brief gunfight, the crime busters arrested four more Huji activists at the camp. They are Abul Farah Rumman, 30, of Mymensingh, Abul Kalam, 45, of Jamalpur, Salauddin Hussaini Bhuiyan, 37, of Chittagong and Md Abdullah Al Amin, 31, of Pabna.
The Rab also seized 11 live cocktails, two kilograms of explosive materials needed for bombs and grenades, bomb-making manuals in Arabic language, electric circuits, adaptors, fuses and booklets written by ex-Jamaat leader Golam Azam and incumbent Jamaat chief Motiur Rahman Nizami.
Sensing the presence of Rab the Huji men opened fire and started hurling cocktails on them. The law enforcers also retaliated that triggered a "gunfight".
With the help of around 100 locals who gathered there hearing the gunshots, the Rab members held four Huji men, while around 20 others managed to flee the scene, said Maj Syed Ali Ashfak who led the operation.
According to the Rab officials, Rumman had earlier worked as an instructor in different areas to organise Jihad activities. He has been living in Hathazari for last few months to recruit members for the banned organisation from different madrasas.
Rumman who is also an IT specialist took training in arms at 10 stages at Mirerhat of Hathazari, Dhuler Char of Tangail, Sylhet, Bhaluka of Mymensingh in last few years and gave training to over 1,000 new Huji members.
Al Amin, after completing studies at Hathazari Boro Madrasa in 1995, got involved with Huji and took training at Rorar Char of Mymensingh, Dhuler Char of Tangail and at Hathazari.
Arrested Hussaini who passed Dakhil from Naduary Kamil Madrasa and studied at Mohammadpur Sat Mashjid Madrasa in Dhaka was the coordinator of Rangan Shilpi Goshthy and worked as Huji's publications secretary.
Rab-7 Commanding Officer Lt Col Sazzad Hussain told The Daily Star that they had earlier got information about secret movement and activities of Huji members at Hathazari, Raozan and Banshkhali and kept keen monitoring on those areas for last couple of months.
He said they have information of secret Huji activities in remote hilly areas of Hathazari, Raozan, Banshkhali, Satkania of Chittagong, Chakaria of Cox's Bazar and Vedbedi of Rangamati.