The recently arrested militants of “Wolf Pack” set police as their target of suicidal attacks in order to take “revenge” on the law enforcing agency and draw global attention.
The self-radicalised militants planned attacks on police as they considered the agency to be a major barrier to their way of establishing a Shariah-based state in Bangladesh.
They also wanted to retaliate on police as many militants were killed in different drives over the past several years in the country.
Besides, attacks on police might also weaken the ruling government, assumed the “Wolf Pack” -- an offshoot of the banned terror outfit Neo Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (Neo JMB).
The group of five militants -- Mohammad Shibli Shahazad alias Sadee, Shah M Asadullah Mortuza Kabir alias Ababil, Mashrik Ahmed, Md Ashraful Al Amin alias Tareq and SM Tanim Rifat -- gave the information to a judicial magistrate court in Dhaka.
They gave a confessional statement under section 164 of the Criminal Procedure after nine-day remand in two phases in the custody of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP).
Earlier, they were arrested from the capital’s Bashundhara Residential Area three days before Eid-ul-Adha in a CTTC special drive led by Senior Assistant Commissioner Sk Imran Hossain.
The militants of the “Wolf Pack” also described how they were radicalised and how they planned to carry out suicidal blasts on policemen.
“Wolf Pack” is a group of self-radicalised militants mostly similar to “Lone Wolf” who prepare and carry out terrorist attacks alone.
Also, they have no command structure or material assistance from any group, as per the CTTC.
According to court sources, Ababil was the chief coordinator of the planned terrorist attack targeting to kill a large number of police personnel.
Shibli and Ababil are BBA students at North South University in Dhaka. Mashrik completed his BBA from Jashore MM College.
On the other hand, Tareq passed the SSC exam, but Rifat failed in HSC exam this year.
Police also confiscated 10 detonators, four gas bottles and five mobile phones from their possession.
How they were radicalised
In their confessional statement, the militants said they were radicalised on their own by watching jihadist video clips and going through various extremist materials.
Ababil used to provide the other four members of the group with those materials through Telegram, a globally used mobile messenger application by terrorists.
The “Wolf Pack” members were also using virtual private network -- a technology to hide identities, data and online actions of internet users.
They used American phone numbers to register in the Telegram. These numbers were not original but generated by a new mobile application named “Text Now.”
However, HSC student Rifat, in his statement, said he was quickly radicalised after getting in touch with Ababil and Mashrik.
He became very ardent in collecting and watching new jihadist materials. He gave up his academic study. As a result, he failed in two subjects in the HSC exam.
At one stage, he started performing prayers in different ways. When this sudden change came to the notice of his parents, they asked him about it.
But he managed to avoid the question by referring to a new finding in his reading of Hadith.
Shibli told the magistrate that, after complete radicalisation, he informed Ababil and Mashrik he was ready to sacrifice his life for Islam.
Then Mashrik collected arms and ammunition for the members of the “Wolf Pack” from different parts of the country to carry out suicidal attacks on uniformed police.