DHAKA, BANGLADESH – The Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Detective & Criminal Intelligence Division has arrested four Pakistanis who are members of the banned terrorist organization Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) on charges of spying, conspiracy to commit murder and acts of terror and other crimes.
Following initial interrogation, police said the suspects planned to carry out destructive and subversive activities and to finance sabotage aimed at destabilizing the government of Bangladesh. Police said the four planned to sabotage key installations in Bangladesh and carry out targeted killings.
The suspects are Idris Sheikh, Mokbul Sharif, Mohammad Salam and Mohammad Mostafa. Three are Pakistani nationals and one belongs to the Bihari Community, or the so-called “stranded Pakistanis” in Bangladesh. Police recovered five mobile phones, one of which was allegedly used by Sheikh to communicate with his spy handler. Police also recovered 26 Jihadi books, three Bangladeshi passports, 4,000 Pakistani Rupees and currencies of other countries.
Police determined one of the spies has been operating in Bangladesh for years.
Analyzing Sheikh’s phone, detectives found evidence he had transmitted information from Bangladesh to his foreign intelligence handler regularly. In addition, Sheikh communicated with an intelligence officer at the Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka by phone and in person on a regular basis.
Sheikh went to Pakistan in 1985 through India and attained Pakistani citizenship via marriage. He was a losing candidate of the Pak Muslim Alliance in Pakistan’s 2002 general election. He re-entered Bangladesh in 2007 and immediately joined JMB. According to his passport, Sheikh visited Pakistan 48 times during the past two years.
According to police, Mokbul Sharif went to Pakistan in 1985 and attained Pakistani citizenship in 1989. He also visited Pakistan from Bangladesh regularly and was a frequent traveler to Karachi. Sharif is an active member of JMB in Pakistan. He had contact with the Rohingya militant leader Abdul Kuddus Bormi, trainer of Rohingya militants in Karachi. He is involved in human trafficking and sent Rohingya to Pakistan, Canada and Australia with fake passports. Salam has also visited Pakistan and Mostafa is an assistant traffic inspector of Pakistan International Airlines.