Bombers joined Tazia procession to evade detection: Police say

27 October 2015

The attackers of a Shia gathering at Old Dhaka's Huseni Dalan evaded detection by security forces by entering in a procession, police say.
A boy was killed and over 100 people injured in a bomb attack on the Shia gathering before a procession in Old Dhaka early on Saturday.
The Shias were preparing for the procession called 'Tazia Michhil' on Nazimuddin Road.
They were coming in small processions to join the main one since evening on Friday. Witness Zainal Abedin told "A small Tazia Michhil came inside four minutes before the blasts. The explosions took place just after they joined the gathering."
A resident of Old Dhaka's Aga Masih Lane said he had been in the area since the evening. He was near the west gate of the Huseni Dalan complex or Imambarha during the blasts.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Additional Deputy Commissioner for Lalbagh zone Sanjit Kumar Roy was also in the same area, overseeing the security measures.
Roy also thinks the bombers entered the gathering in a procession. "The criminals entered in a procession. They might have entered with the Tazia Michhil four minutes before the blasts," he said.
Asked if those in the procession could be identified with the help of CCTV footages, he said, "The footage is not very distinct. But it may be possible to identify them if experts examine the movements."
There were 32 CCTV cameras set up by the Huseni Dalan authorities and police in the area.
Roy said police detectives were working with the footage.
DMP Lalbagh zone Assistant Commissioner RM Faizur Rahman said, "The bombs were made locally.
RAB-10 Commander Jahangir Alam Matubbar said the handmade explosives could be called 'grenades'.
"RAB found three clips of these grenades in the complex. Before this, DMP detectives found two unexploded grenades and a clip. One of those grenades did not have any clip."
Inspector General of Police (IGP) AKM Shahidul Hoque said the bombs were similar to those recovered from Kamrangirchar during the investigation into the murder of the policeman at Gabtoli.
Detective Branch Bomb Squad's Additional Deputy Commissioner Sanwar Hossain also said there were similarities between the 'grenades' found in Kamrangirchar and Huseni Dalan.
Police filed a case under the Anti Terrorism Act against unidentified miscreants over the attack in Old Dhaka. The DB have been tasked with the investigation. Police said in the case that the unidentified terrorist organisation carried out the attack as part of their plan to destroy the harmony among the people of Bangladesh and hamper public security.
It was also said in the case that a section of the terrorist organisation was on the spot to carry out the attack and another provided funds, training, suggestions and directions.
After reportedly claiming responsibilities for the murders of the foreigners, radical group Islamic State has purportedly claimed credit for the attack on the Shia gathering now.
The government ministers and law-enforcing agencies, however, deny any links with the IS.
Police and locals said there were many law enforcers at the two entrances to the Huseni Dalan complex.
Someone needs to get past both the iron gates one after another to enter the complex.
One of the bombs was charged next to the gate inside the complex. The place, bloodstained, was seen marked with bricks on Sunday.
DMP Additional Deputy Commissioner Roy said, "There was adequate security at the two gates. There was no lack of security personnel in and outside the complex."
Assistant Commissioner Rahman said police were deployed on the roofs of the buildings beside the route of the main procession.
"We even deployed policemen beside the transformers so that no one could hamper power connection," he said.
Imambarha Managing Committee's Sajed Hossain said, "There were many RAB and police personnel at the two gates. They were searching the persons willing to enter the complex."
"The miscreants entered the gathering in procession," he added. Policemen were conducting the search using metal detector.
Asked why the persons carrying the bombs could not be caught despite the search, Roy said it was not possible to search those in the processions. The Shias were gathering with sticks, bamboos and many other objects to perform self-flagellation to mourn the death of Imam Hussain, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad (SM), in the seventh century battle of Karbala.
Deputy Commissioner Uddin said, "Thousands were preparing for the procession with ropes tied around their bodies and other things. It was not simply possible to search them all."

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