Bangladesh: Islamist leader behind Dhaka cafe attack jumps off building, dies

The Rapid Action Battalion identifies the deceased terrorist as Abdur Rahman alias Sheikh Abu Ibrahim al Hanif.

Bangladesh police arrests two people over deadly Dhaka cafe siege
Head of Bangladesh terror outfit behind cafe attack died after jumping from building during raid Reuters

The head of a Bangladeshi Islamist group, who was accused of planning the deadly Dhaka café attack in July, died while trying to escape arrest earlier this month, officials have said.

Authorities said Abdur Rahman, a leader of the Jamayetul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), died in hospital on October 8 after jumping from the fifth floor of a building on the outskirts of Dhaka during a raid by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).

The RAB said in a statement that the identity of Rahman was later confirmed by his family, who were shown pictures of his body and his possessions.

The statement also added that RAB later retrieved several documents, letters and e-mails which eventually proved that Rahman was the emir (head) of the new JMB.

Although ISIS claimed the responsibility of the siege at an upmarket cafe in Dhaka on July 1 that killed 22 people, including foreign hostages, the Bangladeshi authorities are insistent that the homegrown JMB militants were behind the attack.

During the raid, RAB recovered some of the documents which had been signed by Rahman. He used the alias Sheikh Abu Ibrahim al Hanif to sign the documents.

Noticeably, the RAB statement made no mention of Isisi, but the April issue of Dabiq magazine, which is affiliated to the Isis, reported that "Shaykh Abu Ibrahim Al Hanif" was the terrorists' "emir" in Bangladesh.

RAB has made a list of 19 attacks that have been carried out by JMB. The list includes the murder of an Italian aid worker and a Japanese national late in 2015.

Attacks on foreigners

But the July café attack was by far the deadliest terrorist attack in the country. It caused a widespread alarm regarding the growth of Islamist extremism in Bangladesh, which has a majority of Muslim population.

Even before the Dhaka café attack, the country was experiencing a series of attacks on foreigners, rights activists and members of different religious minorities.

Many of those attacks were claimed by Isis and some were also claimed by the local offshoot of the Al-Qaeda network.

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