The Islamic State (IS) has released a new video featuring the five Dhaka cafe attackers. The Bangladesh government has always stated that the perpetrators belonged to Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh and were not affiliated with the IS. However, the new video proves the link between the two groups.
The IS' Bengali media At-Tamkin released the video produced by the "Bilad al-Bengal media office," indicating at their Bangladesh unit.
The 15-minute video, in Bengali and Arabic, shows the terrorist group calling on jihadis to attack "atheists, apostates and crusaders" as revenge for the "persecution" of IS fighters in Iraq and Syria and elsewhere.
The video featuring the five Holey Artisan Bakery attackers - Nibras Islam, Rohan Imtiaz, Khairul Islam Payel, Shafiqul Islam Uzzal and Meer Saameh Mubasser, is a criticism of Bangladesh's democracy and leadership. They also condemn Islamic scholars for stopping Muslims from joining the armed jihad of the IS, the Dhaka Tribune reported.
The video was first released by the official IS media channel, Arabic Nashir, on Telegram.
It is believed that the video was shot before the attack on the cafe. It has been released almost a month after security forces killed the attack's alleged mastermind, Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury or Sheikh Abu Ibrahim al-Hanif.
The attackers were killed in an operation on July 2. As many as 22 people, mostly foreigners, had died in the attack.
Police launched a crackdown on militants after the two terror attacks -- Holey Artisan Bakery and O' Kitchen (July 1) and Sholakia Eid congregation (July 7). So far, they have killed at least 31 members of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, which has links to the IS.
The government maintains that there is no organisational base of IS in Bangladesh, and that the attacks were carried out by a faction of banned militant group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh.
(With IANS inputs)