Suicide bomber attacks RAB barracks
Kamrul Hasan, Tarek Mahmud
Published at 02:15 PM March 17, 2017
Last updated at 01:46 AM March 18, 2017
Friday afternoon’s assault follows a ’call to arms’ made by Islamic State (IS) to jihadists in Bangladesh
A suicide bomber blew himself up near a temporary camp of the elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) police force in Ashkona Hajj Camp area of Dhaka on Friday afternoon.
“The suicide attacker targeted our camp. Two of our officials have been injured,” said RAB legal and media wing Director Mufti Mahmud Khan.
The assault – which occurred around 1pm – comes only two days after Islamic State (IS) called for suicide attacks in Bangladesh, and one day after two militants of New JMB group blew themselves up to evade arrest by the Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit during a raid in Chittagong’s Sitakunda.
“The attacker trespassed into the territory of our under-construction headquarters crossing the wall during Jumma prayers,” the media wing director said.
Photo: RAB personnel at the gate of their under-construction headquarters where a suicide blast took place/Photo: Mehedi Hasan/DHAKA TRIBUNE
“RAB officers, who were on duty at the gate, challenged the attacker. The man seemed confused while talking to the RAB men and moved as to leave the place.
“At that time, he detonated his suicide vest, leaving himself dead and two RAB officers injured,” the RAB spokesman added.
Also Read: -Bangladeshi suicide bomber calls for ‘lone-wolf’ attacks
The injured officers – Lance Corporal Mizan and Constable Arif – were rushed to Dhaka Combined Military Hospital.
Later, RAB’s bomb disposal team recovered a fresh handmade bomb attached to the attacker’s body.
RAB is saying it cannot be determined as yet if the bomber was a member of any militant group.
RAB personnel have cordoned off the area. Forensic experts from RAB and Criminal Investigation Department (CID), and a team from Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) were collecting evidence from the spot.
The RAB men were admitted to Combined Military Hospital in Dhaka with injuries.
Bag recovered from near the body
A black travel bag was found near the body of the suicide attacker, officials told the Bangla Tribune.
They could not immediately say what was inside the bag. The suicide bomber was wearing a cap.
Mufti Mahmud Khan told journalists no leaflet or document had been found on the attacker.
Photo: RAB men on alert in front of the gate of the under-construction headquarters, where a suicide bomber blew himself up/Photo: Mehedi Hasan/DHAKA TRIBUNE
RAB officers form a protective cordon in front of the site Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune
“But he exploded a suicide vest so we cannot eliminate the possibility of there being more explosives on his person.
“A bomb disposal unit is examining the scene,” he said.
Also read:- Red alert issued for all jails across Bangladesh
A female member of New JMB, affiliated with the IS, blew herself up during a raid in Ashkona on December 24, while another man committed suicide by slitting his throat during a raid at a Azimpur den on September 10.
New JMB’s first suicide attack was carried out on December 26, 2015 on an Ahmadiyya mosque in Baghmara, Rajshahi, when militant Md Tarek Aziz alias Musa was killed.
Police also believe the New JMB suicide squad members were behind the grenade attacks on Navy mosques in Chittagong on December 18, 2015.
Following Friday’s blast, army installations across the country were put on red alert, while the civil aviation authority also called for a beefing up of security at airports.
Islamic State takes credit for Dhaka suicide attack
Published at 06:29 PM March 17, 2017
Last updated at 09:45 PM March 17, 2017
Islamic State takes credit for Dhaka suicide attack
The announcement came first on IS’ Arabic Amaq news agency on Telegram and then on at-Tamkin (Bengali) Friday afternoon
Salafist terrorist group Islamic State claims that one of its supporters carried out the suicide bomb attack on a RAB barrack in Dhaka’s Ashkona that injured two officers.
The announcement came first on IS’ Arabic Amaq news agency on Telegram and then on at-Tamkin (Bengali) Friday afternoon, within five hours of the attack.
Also Read- Bangladeshis dying for Islamic State
IS’ news agency Amaq claims attack on RAB barrack that injured two officials
Islamic State’s news agency Amaq claims attack on RAB barrack that injured two officials
A suicide attacker was killed after he detonated his suicide vest inside the under-construction RAB Headquarters, adjacent to the Hajj Camp, around 1pm.
RAB legal and media wing Director Mufti Mahmud Khan said: “The suicide attacker targeted our camp. Two of our officials have been injured.”
Following the attack, authorities issued red alert for all jails across the country and ordered increased security for airports.
Also Read- Exclusive: Man in latest IS video is Neaz Morshed Raja
The attack comes only two days after the IS called for suicide attacks in Bangladesh and a day after police’s Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit conducted a raid in Chittagong’s Sitakunda where two militants of New JMB group, affiliated with IS, blew themselves up to evade arrest.
Also Read- Red alert issued for all jails across Bangladesh
It is the 27th attack IS has claimed in Bangladesh since September 2015 and the first in 2017.
The group, however, did not claim responsibility for several other attacks including the one on police in Sholakia of Kishoreganj during the Eid Day last year, only six days after the Holey Artisan Bakery attack on July 1.
12:00 AM, March 18, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 04:00 AM, March 18, 2017
Suicide blast at Rab barrack
IS ’claimed responsibility’ hours after lone attacker blew himself up; 2 Rab men hurt; home minister terms IS claim ’propaganda’
Photo: [Suicide blast at Rab barrack] The barrack of the Rapid Action Battalion in the capital’s Ashkona where a man, believed to be a suicide bomber, sneaked in and blew himself up injuring two members of the elite force yesterday. The spot has been cordoned off with yellow tape. Photo: Palash Khan
A suspected suicide bomber sneaked into a Rab barrack and blew himself up in the capital’s Ashkona yesterday, in what appears to be the country’s first such attack by a terror suspect inside a law enforcement agency’s compound.
Terror group Islamic State claimed credit for the attack, reports BBC Bangla.
The attacker, who is yet to be identified, died instantly while two Rab members suffered splinter injuries.
All prisons across the country have been put on alert while security has been stepped up at all domestic and international airports and Rab offices following the attack.
Hours after the incident that happened around 1:00pm, At-Tamkin, a pro-Islamic State Bangla blog, said in a post that the attack “was carried out by an explosive belt”.
US-based SITE Intelligence, which monitors jihadist activities, also reported the attack.
Both At-Tamkin and SITE cited Amaq, the Islamic State’s news agency, as their source.
The Bangladesh government denies IS’s presence in the country.
Contacted, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said, “It’s propaganda and an attempt to force the IS brand on us…. Why would the IS come here?”
Police chief AKM Shahidul Hoque and Rab chief Benazir Ahmed visited the scene in the evening, but they did not speak with reporters while leaving the compound.
It comes a day after a police raid in a “militant den” in Chittagong’s Sitakunda. Police claimed that four suicide bombers, including a woman, were killed as they attempted to swoop on SWAT members.
Since 2005, there have been at least seven suicide bombings at mosques, cultural events and courts or during raids by law enforcers. But no establishments of any law enforcers have ever come under such attacks.
Yesterday’s blast was so powerful that it ripped apart the suspect’s torso and sent pieces of him flying in all directions for about 15-20 metres, Rab and police sources said.
The rear windshield of an SUV of Rab headquarters parked near the scene was shattered from what Rab said was the impact of the explosion.
Pictures of the scene released by law enforcement agencies showed the body of the badly mutilated suspect, who was wearing black pants and a white striped shirt. He appeared to be in his late 20s.
The attacker blew himself up when two Rab members challenged him after he entered the premises climbing the boundary wall.
Rab officials later found an unexploded bomb near the body and defused it safely, said Mufti Mahmud Khan, director of the force’s Legal and Media Wing.
He said the suspect was thought to be a militant but it was not clear which group he belonged to.
Briefing reporters at the barrack, Mufti said the two wounded Rab men — constable Arif and lance corporal Mizan — were taken to the Combined Military Hospital with minor splinter injuries.
The barrack is also the proposed site for the Rab Headquarters. Currently, it is mostly an empty space fenced by brick walls. Inside, a large barrack is situated where a couple of hundred Rab officials live in tin shacks.
“A stranger trespassed into the premises around 1:00pm, right before the noon prayers, climbing over the boundary wall on our right side. There’s a space near the boundary, where our admin officials wash clothes and take shower,” he said.
“They [officials] challenged the man and asked where he was going and why he was there. The man turned away and tried to escape and there was an explosion. The bomb he was carrying exploded and he died on the spot,” said the Rab spokesperson.
Talking to The Daily Star, a junior Rab official said he was taking a shower when he saw a man with a bag walking into the premises. He also heard two of his colleagues accosting him.
“Soon, I heard a loud bang. When I looked in that direction I saw a mutilated body and my colleagues writhing in pain,” said the official, asking not to be named.
Rubel Hasan, a fish seller who was at the Hajj Camp Mosque adjacent to the barrack, said he felt the explosion shook the entire area.
The barrack is about a hundred metres from the Airport intersection. There are several tin shacks of the barracks near the boundary wall adjacent to the Hajj Camp.
The space where the officials take shower is between two tin shacks. Rab officials said they suspected that the man entered the premises by climbing the wall adjacent to the Hajj Camp.
Some worshippers who were at the Hajj Camp Mosque to say their prayers told The Daily Star that they were startled by the explosion. Later, several people came to the mosque and told them what happened inside the barrack. Some of them attempted to get out of the mosque to see what was happening, but the imam asked them to calm down.
Earlier on December 24, a female militant suspect blew herself up detonating a suicide vest as police were raiding a militant hideout, about 300 yards from the same Rab barrack. The suspect’s four-year-old daughter, who was with her, survived with serious injuries.