Bangladesh arrests most wanted HuJI chief

Dhaka: Bangladesh`s banned Harkatul Jihad (HuJI) `most wanted` chief Sheikh Mohammad Farid was arrested by elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion from the capital`s suburbs of Tongi.

"We arrested him (Farid) last night after 48 hours of extensive manhunt," RAB spokesman Commander M Sohail told newsmen at a press briefing. He was nabbed from Tongi near capital Dhaka.

Sohail said the 47-year old extremist was steering the HuJI for the past several years but RAB got clues leading to his arrest from confessional statements of two other militants arrested earlier this week.

Farid is wanted in four specific cases of 1999 attack on a Udichi concert in Jessore, 2001 attack on Baishakhi festival at Ramna Batmul, August 21, 2004 grenade attack on an Awami League rally and the case of Kotalipara bomb implant targeting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina during her 1996-2001 tenure.

The RAB spokesman said during initial interrogations, Farid claimed he was personally familiar with Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden as he had joined the Afghan resistance against the then Soviet occupation and the armed warfare against the Burmese junta siding with the extreme righting factions of Rohingya outfits.

The RAB is set to produce him before a court tomorrow with remand prayers for further interrogations.