CATF Reports Aug. 9, 2016, 2:40pm

Bangladeshi authorities are tightening their grip on the masterminds and financiers of the Gulshan Thana and the Sholakia terror attacks. Hasnat Karim, a British-Bangladeshi professor at the first private university of Bangladesh turned businessman, and Tahmid Hasib, a Canadian citizen of Bangladeshi origin and former student at the University of Toronto, are now detained for their alleged role as architects and coordinators of the terrorist attack at the Holey Artisan Bakery Café in Gulshan Thana, Dhaka, that killed 29 people on July 1st, 2016. Both were among the presumed hostages who survived the bloodshed and were released by the attackers before the intervention of the police.

Karim and Khan were definitely incriminated by photographic evidence provided by the Bangladeshi daily Jugantor as well as by forensic reports focused on their mobile phones. Jugantor claimed that Karim coordinated the attackers via the instant messaging app Wickr on his phone and sent pictures of the dead foreigners to AMAQ, the infamous jihadist news outlet, as well as to terrorism analyst Rita Katz’s platform. Last week, Khan was arrested for his suspected involvement in the bombing at Sholakia Eudgah, in the Kishoreganj district, which occurred during a major gathering for Eid el-Fitr on July 7th. Investigations definitively confirmed that Khan had ties with the nine militant Islamists who belonged to the same branch of the homegrown extremist group blamed for the Gulshan attack and who were killed in a police raid in Kallyanpur on July 26th.

Furthermore, five businessmen were recently identified by the Bangladeshi authorities as major financiers of Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh, which allegedly benefits from a network of financiers within the country as well as from donations by expatriate Bangladeshis. Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, a Canadian citizen who used to visit the Kallyanpur militants in the hideout raided by the police, remains a key suspect for both attacks, and is believed to have contributed to connecting a network of financiers abroad with domestic militant groups based in Bangladesh.

From Dhaka Tribune:

“Investigating officers dealing with the Gulshan and Sholakia terror attacks have primarily identified five businesspersons for financing a new JMB group in carrying out operations and are now trying to arrest them.

They have also kept under watch some people inside the country and abroad who had funded some militant groups earlier.

The militants are also collecting money themselves by conducting robbery and mugging, the law enforcers say. […]

The suspected mastermind behind the Gulshan and Sholakia attacks, Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, used to stay in Canada and might have developed a network of financiers abroad before coming to Bangladesh in 2013.

Sanowar Hossain, additional deputy commissioner of the CTTC unit, said that banned militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) had been trying to raise funds by themselves for the last two years by conducting criminal activities including robbery and mugging.”

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