Four years into grisly terror attack on Holey Artisan Bakery
The terror attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery in Gulshan passed four years on July 1. On this day in 2016, terrorists attacked Holey Artisan Bakery killing 22 people, including 17 foreign nationals. The 12-hour siege ended in bloodshed after military commandoes stormed the restaurant in a rescue operation, codenamed 'Thunderbolt.'
Security forces shot dead five young attackers on the scene. Later, eight masterminds behind the cafe carnage died in a nationwide crackdown on militancy.
The militants killed 22 people - nine Italians, seven Japanese, one Indian, one
Bangladeshi-born American, and two Bangladeshis - in the overnight terror attack. Two police officers, Salauddin Ahmed and Robiul Karim, were killed when they went there to rescue the hostages.
The carnage ended the next morning when army commandoes carried out a swift raid, killing the five gunmen.
A case was filed with Gulshan police under the Anti-Terrorism Act following the terror attack. On July 23 in 2018, CTTC filed a charge sheet accusing eight militants.
According to the charge sheet, 21 members of the New JMB, a splinter group of the banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh, were involved in the planning and execution of the Holey Artisan attack.
Police also recommended that the court drop the names of 13 suspects from the trial process.
Five of these suspects were the attackers - Nibras Islam, Rohan Imtiaz, Meer Saameh Mubasser, Khairul Islam and Shafiqul Islam - who were killed in the commando operation carried out on the morning of July 2 in 2016.
Eight other suspects were also killed in subsequent anti-militant drives in different parts of the country. They are -- Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, Nurul Islam Marjan, Tanvir Kaderi, Maj (sacked) Zahidul Islam alias Murad, Raihan Kabir Tarek, Sarwar Jahan Manik, Basharuzzaman alias Chocolate and Mizanur Rahman alias Chhota Mizan.
Of the remaining New JMB operatives, eight are currently behind bars. They are -- Jahangir Alam alias Rajiv Gandhi, Rashedul Islam alias Rash, Shohel Mahfuz, Hadisur Rahman Sagar, Mizanur Rahman alias Bara Mizan, Rakibul Hasan alias Reagan, Mamunur Rashid alias Ripon and Shariful Islam alias Khaled.
The then anti-terrorism court in Dhaka had sentenced seven people to death in connection with the deadly siege in 2016 of the popular cafe in the capital. One person was acquitted by the court on November 27 in 2019.