NEW DELHI (AP) — Three Bangladeshi men have been identified as the financiers of the July 1 attack in which a group of assailants tortured and killed 20 hostages at a restaurant in Dhaka, a counterterrorism official said Tuesday.
The three men provided part of the $101,606 sum used to carry out the attack at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka’s diplomatic quarter, which ended hours later with police killing all five of the attackers and finding 20 hostages dead, including 17 foreigners.
The financiers included a pediatrician who fled with his family to Syria to join the Islamic State, according to the country’s police counterterrorism chief, Monirul Islam.
He identified the other two as a retired army major who donated his pension and savings and a man who donated proceeds from a Dhaka apartment sale. Both were killed in police raids.
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Islam did not elaborate on how the money was used.
He said the three belonged to the banned militant group Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh, or JMB. The IS claimed the responsibility for the July 1 attack, but Bangladesh’s government insists the JMB was behind it.
Bangladesh has been under intense international pressure to crack down on Islamist militancy, which also has involved individual attacks targeting writers, religious minorities and others deemed enemies of Islam.
Authorities are now investigating whether the JMB was receiving funding from abroad, Islam said.