B'desh Police detains 'spiritual leader' linked to New JMB

New JMB spiritual leader’ Maulana Kashem arrested

Counterterrorism officials have arrested the alleged spiritual leader of "Neo JMB", who they think approved the Gulshan café attack plot previous year. "He (Kashem) was a madrassa teacher in (northwestern) Joypurhat.", Monirul Islam, the chief of the unit, told reporters.

Dhaka - The investigators are expected to submit charge-sheet at the end of the year in the last year's deadly café attack in Bangladeshi capital Dhaka that left 20 civilians, mostly foreigners, killed, officials said on Friday.

JMB leader Tamim Chowdhury who was killed in an operation of Narayanganj Counter Terrorism Unit called him as Sheikh, police said.

Mohibul Islam Khan, deputy commissioner of the Dhaka police counter-terrorism unit, said Kashem had inspired the attack on a Dhaka cafe last July in which 22 people including 18 foreign hostages were killed.

He said Abul Kashem alias Boro Huzur held a meeting in Rajshahi in order to form the Neo JMB. Global terror outfit Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the bomb attack, but the government has all along denied existence of IS in Bangladesh. It was established in 1998 in Palampur Abdur Rahman.

A number of top "Neo JMB" leaders, including Tamim, Nurul Islam Marjan, Sohel Mahfuz and Rajib Gandhi, were Kashem's followers.

Benazir showed a leaflet which he had said was the manifesto of the neo-JMB.

Kashem was shown arrested in a case filed with Mirpur Police Station over the raid on Kalyanpur militant hideout in July a year ago.

One of the Gulshan attack masterminds, Jahangir Alam alias Rajib Gandhi gave "enough information" about Kashem, but police had raided the address "Rajib" gave without any success.

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