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Bangladeshi-born Canadian ‘Mastermind’ of Dhaka Café Terror attack Tamim Chowdhury Dies in Shootout at Naryanganj, Bangladesh

Tamim Chowdhury, 30, and two unidentified suspects were shot dead while resisting arrest during a mid-morning raid by police and security forces on a house in Naryanganj, Bangladesh

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Map of Bangladesh where the terror attack took place. Image source: Wikimedia Commons
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Naryanganj, Bangladesh, August 28, 2016: In a shootout with police near the capital on Saturday, the Bangladeshi-born Canadian leader of a militant faction who was the “main mastermind” of July’s deadly siege at a Dhaka café was killed with two other suspects in a shootout with police near the capital on Saturday, officials said.

Tamim Chowdhury, 30, and two unidentified suspects were shot dead while resisting arrest during a mid-morning raid by police and security forces on a house in Naryanganj, a district on the outskirts of Dhaka, according to authorities.

“This is a matter of shame for us that a notorious terrorist like Tamim Chowdhury resided near us,” Azizur Rahman, a resident of Paikpara, a section of Narayanganj where the gunfight took place, told a BenarNews correspondent at the scene.

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Chowdhury’s name figured prominently among at least 10 people identified by police as alleged “masterminds” of the July 1 terrorist attack at the Holey Artisan Bakery restaurant. Twenty hostages – mostly foreigners – were reportedly killed with machetes during the overnight siege in Dhaka’s diplomatic quarter. The five alleged attackers were all killed when security forces stormed the restaurant and broke the siege on the morning of July 2.

The so-called extremist group Islamic State claimed that its fighters carried out the attack, but the government has since denied that a link exists between the siege and any transnational terror group. A recent edition of Dabiq, IS’s propaganda magazine, claimed that Tamim Chowdhury headed the group’s network in Bangladesh. After Saturday’s shootout, Bangladesh’s home minister and national police chief repeated earlier official denials about IS having any presence in the country.

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“Tamim Chowdhury is among the three militants killed today. We have yet to identify the two others, but we think [they were] his close aides,” Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told reporters while visiting the scene.

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Chowdhury headed a faction of the home-grown militant group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JMB), known as Neo-JMB, police counter-terror chief Monirul Islam told BenarNews. Authorities had put a bounty of 2 million taka (U.S. $25,565) on Chowdhury’s head.

Apart from identifying him by name, police named one “Marjan” as among the other masterminds behind the plot, but they declined to disclose the names of the others.

The investigation into the café attack so far has yielded two suspects in custody. A British citizen and a Canadian resident, both of Bangladeshi origin and who were inside the café as the attack unfolded, are being held over allegations that they behaved suspiciously and may have abetted the hostage-takers – a charge that their families and lawyers have denied.

‘Free of another curse’: PM

Bangladeshi officials have said that JMB-linked militants were behind the attack at the café, an attack on the country’s largest annual Eid prayer gathering on July 6, as well as killings of religious minorities and other violent extremist acts.

Later Saturday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina praised the police and intelligence services for the operation that took out Chowdhury.

“The main mastermind of the Holey Artisan [attack] has been eliminated,” Hasina told reporters at her office, according to Agence France-Presse.

“The nation has become free of another curse,” she said, adding that the “elimination of the extremists” would bolster “people’s confidence.”

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The shootout came ahead of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s scheduled arrival in Dhaka on Monday, where he is to hold talks with Bangladeshi officials about cooperation on security matters and other bilateral concerns, the State Department announced last week.

A dual U.S.-Bangladeshi citizen was among at least 17 foreigners killed in the café attack, and another national of both countries was among nine suspected militants killed in a police raid on a JMB hideout in Dhaka on July 26, Bangladeshi authorities said. Citing privacy laws, the U.S. embassy in Dhaka declined to confirm whether the slain suspect, Shehzad Rouf Arka, was an American citizen.

‘They refused’

Acting on a tip, the police and members of the Rapid Action Battalion on Saturday morning encircled a three-story house in Paikpara, where the suspects were believed to be hiding in a second-floor apartment, officials said.

“They were asked to surrender, but they refused. Finally, the police carried out the operation and they died in the gunfight,” Inspector-General of Police A.K.M. Shahidul Hoque told reporters at the scene.

In rebuffing the call to surrender, the suspects opened fire and threw hand grenades at security personnel, said Sanowar Hossain, an additional deputy commissioner of the national police’s counter-terrorist branch.

Authorities said they recovered an AK-22 rifle and two live grenades from the second-floor apartment.

An area resident and construction worker, Ruhul Amin, said the suspects lived in an apartment next-door to his.

He had left his apartment early in the morning for prayers at the local mosque, and was returning home when relatives telephoned him to alert him to stay away from the building, where the standoff with police was unfolding.

He said he rarely saw his neighbors next-door.

“I saw two of them once on a Friday as they were taking in some goods, such as a gas stove. Today, we came to know that they are militants,” said Amin. (BenarNews)

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  • Randy Lahey

    Doesn’t surprise me, there are probably so many terrorists living in Canada. Justin Turdeau pretty much rolled out the red carpet and kissed boot so a bunch more savage islamists would move there to prop up the dying social communist system

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First satellite launched by Bangladesh

It was successfully deployed at Bangladesh's specified orbit slot "within 36 minutes" of the launch and two ground stations in Bangladesh received test signals from it, said State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak at the Kennedy Space Centre in the US.

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The project is designed to "efficiently provide broadband access to unserved and underserved areas throughout the world," the report said on Friday. Pixabay

Bangladesh launched its first satellite, “Bangabandhu-1”, on Saturday, becoming the 57th nation in the world and fourth in South Asia after India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka to own a satellite.

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted the communication satellite, named after the Bangladesh founder, early in the morning from Cape Canaveral in Florida, bdnews24 reported.

It was successfully deployed at Bangladesh’s specified orbit slot “within 36 minutes” of the launch and two ground stations in Bangladesh received test signals from it, said State Minister for Information and Communication Technology Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak at the Kennedy Space Centre in the US.

The launch was telecast live in Bangladesh, with experts saying it will serve as a milestone in the telecommunication sector.

“The satellite will be a great addition to our Information Technology heralding our entry into the Satellite Club of the world,” said Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a message.

"The satellite will be a great addition to our Information Technology heralding our entry into the Satellite Club of the world," said Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a message.
Bangladesh, pixabay

“The Bangabandhu Satellite-1 will certainly bring revolutionary changes in our broadcast and telecommunications sector. With this launching, we’ve hoisted the Bangladesh flag in the space… entered a new era.”

She thanked the satellite building and launching company, the US and the French governments for their support. Hasina also praised Russia for renting its orbital slot to Bangladesh.

Experts said that the country’s first geostationary communication satellite will give extra space to the digitization process. It will help expand Internet and telecommunication services in remote and rugged areas which still remained beyond the coverage.

Once the satellite becomes active at its orbital slot, it will be reportedly controlled from three stations in the US, Italy and South Korea for about a month. Finally, the satellite will be controlled and maintained from ground stations in Bangladesh.

In September 2016, Bangladesh signed a 14 billion taka ($180 million) loan agreement with Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) to finance the country’s first-ever satellite.

Also Read: New Study Shows That Binaries From Globular Clusters Can be Detected by LISA 

In November 2015, Bangladesh signed a 19.51 billion taka ($248 million) deal with French firm Thales Alenia Space for the satellite project.

The Bangladeshi government also purchased a 119.1 east longitude orbital slot from Russia-based Intersputnik for 15 years for $28 million. (IANS)