Dhaka cafe attack mastermind identified as Bangladeshi-Canadian Tamim Chowdhury

The counter-terrorism officials believe that Chowdhury leads a faction of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh militant group.

A Bangladeshi-Canadian was identified as one of the masterminds of Bangladesh's worst terror attack at a cafe in Dhaka that killed 22 people, Bangladesh police said on Saturday following new information from a militant hideout raid.

Police found clues to identify Tamim Chowdhury after an overnight security raid at Kalyanpur area in Dhaka four days ago. Chowdhury, believed to be in his mid 30s, returned to Bangladesh from Canada three years ago. Officers told AFP that he had since led and financed efforts to radicalise young Muslims.

The counter-terrorism officials think that Chowdhury leads a faction of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh militant group. The group has been blamed for scores of murders of foreigners and religious minorities.

The Times of India reported that a Bangladeshi newspaper earlier said Chowdhury appeared to be the main financer of JMB.

The report also suggested that Chowdhury was working as the link between JMB and the ISIS, which claimed the responsibility for the July 1 attack.

"So far, what we have learnt is that Tamim Chowdhury is one of the masterminds of the attacks at Gulshan cafe and Sholakia Eid prayer ground," an officer said, on condition of anonymity.

The attack on the Eid prayer ground in Sholakia killed two policemen and a woman. The officials said a total of seven terrorists were gunned down immediately after the assaults.

"He trained the extremists behind the two attacks and the nine extremists killed in a shoot-out at Kalyanpur," the officer said.

Another senior police officer said Chowdhury's role in promoting extremism was revealed while interrogating Rakibul Hasan. The 25-year-old Hasan was arrested in the raid on the hideout in Kalyanpur.

During interrogation, Hasan told police that Chowdhury "used to visit the extremists' flat and give them necessary funds and encourage them by talking about jihad and religious issues."