Al Qaeda men flee Bangladesh court


Days before fleeing from the court in Dhaka two members of a militancy outfit Ansar Al Islam (AAI) which is a local franchise of Al Qaeda, they were making regular phone contacts with the members of AAI outside the prison. Talking to this correspondent, a senior prison official said, since both the fled militants are condemned prisoners, jail authorities were supposed to send them to prison with stalking while there should have been sufficient police escort with these ruthless militants.

The official said, days before fleeing the court, both the militants were contacting through mobile phones and were getting the plot finalized. “There is dozens of mobile phones hidden inside hot-pot and other objects in the prison cell where these militants were housed. Government needs to immediately send a special team of Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) for a combing raid in the prison cell, recover those mobile phones and check call records. By doing so, authorities can not only have idea about location of these militants, it will also be possible to identify other members of AAI who had helped these dangerous militants in fleeing.

It may be mentioned here that, several members of Al Qaeda franchise Ansar Al Islam snatched two condemned militants by spraying pepper spray and physically hitting policemen. Following this filmy-styled incident countrywide red alert has already been issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, while Bangladesh Police has announced BDT 2 million reward for capturing these fled militants.

According to information, fled militants of Al Qaeda franchise Ansar Al Islam are Abu Siddiq Sohel alias Saqib who hails from Madhabpur area under Sunamganj district and Mainul Hassan Shamim hailing from Bheteshwar area under Lalmonirhat district. They were handed death penalty for murdering Foysal Arefin Deepan, owner of Jagriti Prakashani.

Law enforcement agencies have already collected CCTV footage from the place of occurrence and surrounding area.

It may be mentioned here that, back in 2014 three militants of Jamaatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB), which has been rebranded as Ansar Al Islam after becoming local franchise of Al Qaeda had fled police van. One of these fled militants is Salah Uddin who currently lives in West Bengal in India.

According to eye witness, four militants arrived at the court premises by riding on motorcycles and snatched two militants. These dangerous militants were escorted only by one unarmed police constable.

Meanwhile, commenting on the incident, several lawyers said, special arrangement should have been made while handling militants and terrorists. But in most cases, police on duty in the court premises show extreme reluctance while taking militants and terrorists in the court just exchange of few hundred takas. They said, authorities concerned should immediately sack the officers in the prison where from these militants were sent as prison authorities did not put stalking in the legs as extra measures. Should there be stalking, it was impossible for these militants to flee.

Another source said, most of the high-profile militants and terrorists in the prison enjoy multiple facilities including facility of illegally using mobile phones inside the prisons by paying “monthly fees” to prison officials.


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