Gulshan attack planner remanded

10 July 2017

Counter-terrorism officers have been granted seven days to question Soheil Mahfuz, a suspect in their investigation of the deadly attack on Holey Artisan Bakery.
Mahfuz, suspected of supplying the bombs used in the 2016 attack, was arrested along with three other suspected militants from the northern district of Chapainawaganj on Saturday. Police produced him before a Dhaka court on Sunday and pleaded for a 10-day remand in the case filed over the terror attack that left 22 people dead on July 1 last year.
The court of Metropolitan Magistrate KHN Twaha granted police seven days in custody.
Police have been looking for Mahfuz after suspecting him supplying the grenades used by the five gunmen who stormed the eatery inside Dhaka's diplomatic district. He is also a suspect in the 2014 blast in West Bengal's Burdwan town. On the night of the Holey siege, five heavily-armed terrorists shouted 'Allahu Akbar' as they stormed the restaurant popular among foreigners in Dhaka.
The attackers killed 20 diners, including 17 foreigners, and two police officers who were caught in grenade blasts. The five attackers and a bakery chef, who remains a suspect, were shot dead when army commandos raided the restaurant the next morning. Eight suspects involved in planning the attack have since died in several anti-terror raids. Four other suspects have been captured alive.
Police had said they needed to catch five suspects, including Mahfuz, to complete their investigation.
Mahfuz, who hails from the western district of Kushtia, used the aliases 'Shahadat' and 'Rimon', according to police. An executive member of the JMB, he joined its revived faction, which police call the neo-JMB, about two years ago, according to detectives. Mahfuz had been in India from 2009 to 2014, using the alias 'Nasrullah' and heading the JMB's West Bengal chapter, said a senior counter-terrorism officer.  "India's National Investigation Agency has identified Nasrullah as the prime suspect of the blast in West Bengal which left two people dead," Additional Deputy Commissioner Abdul Manna told this news agency.

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