Dhaka, August 23 (Dhaka Tribune): The identities of the five young militants involved in the deadly terror attack on Holey Artisan Bakery at Gulshan, Dhaka, on July 1, have been confirmed through a DNA test, the Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Masudur Rahman said here on Monday.
“The five attackers were identified previously, but their identities have been confirmed after matching their DNA with their family members,” Rahmand said.
The identity of Holey Artisan Bakery’s pizza chef Saiful Chowkidar was also confirmed after the testing, he added.
Asked if the bodies would be handed over to their families now that their identities were confirmed, he said if the investigation officer of the case does not require to keep the bodies for the investigation, they can be handed over to their families.
“But the families have to place an official request for the handover, which none of them have done yet,” he said.
On July 1, terrorists stormed the building that houses Holey Artisan Bakery and O Kitchen in Gulshan around 8:45pm and took the diners and restaurant staff hostage, killing 20 diners – 17 of whom were foreign nationals and one a Bangladeshi-American – and Saiful Chowkidar in the process.
Among the 17 foreigners, nine were Italians, seven Japanese and one Indian.
Two police officers were severely injured during an exchange of gunfire between law enforcers and the terrorists. They later died while undergoing treatment in hospital.
Another member of the kitchen staff, Zakir Hossain Shaon, was detained by police later in the night, severely injured. He died while undergoing treatment in police custody.
The terror siege continued for nearly 11 hours before a joint commando force stormed the restaurant premises around 7:40am on July 2, killing all the attackers and rescuing 32 hostages.
The attackers were identified as Nibras Islam, Rohan Imtiaz, Khairul Islam Payel, Shafiqul Islam Uzzal and Meer Saameh Mubasser, based on the photographs of their bodies released by the DMP.
A few hours into the siege, the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility of the attack through Amaq, the media outlet run by the international terrorist group, the US-based SITE Intelligence Group reported.
However, police say that the attack was carried out by a new faction of banned militant outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).
Police also detained two of the survivors, Hasnat Karim and Tahmid Hasib Khan, on suspicion of their involvement in the attack. Hasnat was later shown as arrested in the case. Tahmid was not, but he still remains in detention.
Police identified Bangladeshi-Canadian Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury as the mastermind of the attack and are looking for him.