Dhaka, Jan 14 (IANS) Bangladesh police on Saturday said they have arrested a top terrorist, whom authorities hold responsible for killing at least 22 people belonging to religious minorities and is also believed to be among those behind the Dhaka cafe attack in July.
Jahangir Alam, also known as "Rajib", was arrested on Friday night by the police's Counter Terrorism Unit in the northern district of Tangali, the additional deputy commissioner of Dhaka, Mohammad Yusuf Ali told Efe news.
Ali said Rajib was directly involved in at least 22 killings linked to the Islamic group Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) "of Hindu priests, Christian people, (and) foreigners across the country, especially in the northern and western region."
The authorities also believe that Rajib recruited and selected people for the July 1 attack at the Holey Artisan Bakery-O'Kitchen cafe.
The attack was perpetrated by five terrorists who entered the restaurant and killed 22 people, including 17 foreigners - 9 Italians, 7 Japanese and an Indian national - after torturing them when they failed to recite the Quran.
The Bangladeshi government has blamed the attack on a faction linked to the JMB, although the assailants disseminated photos expressing their allegiance to the Islamic State.
Earlier this week, the Holey restaurant reopened at a new site and on a smaller scale than before.
Bangladesh, which has a population of 160 million, mostly Muslims, has been witnessing a spate of terror killings that have claimed over 70 lives since 2013, including bloggers, secular thinkers, members of religious minorities and foreigners.