`Islamic State carried out the attack on Gulshan cafe’

Head of International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) Rohan Gunaratna has said it was international terrorist outfit Islamic State (IS) group which carried out the attack on Gulshan cafe.

Addressing an international conference on Sunday in Dhaka, Gunaratna also expressed his views that the Bangladesh authorities should not have waited for the commando force to resist the militants who kept hostage about 30 people inside the cafe.

Bangladesh Police in collaboration with Interpol has organised the three-day conference being participated by chiefs of police and other law enforcement agencies of South Asia and the neighbouring countries.

Its aim is to fix a regional strategy to combat militancy, extremism and other types of transnational crimes.

Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan formally opened the conference as chief guest at a city hotel in the morning.

Chiefs of police and other law enforcement agencies or their representatives from 15 countries, including hosts Bangladesh, are attending the three-day conference.

In his presentation, Gunaratna praised prime minister Sheikh Hasina for her anti-militancy role.

He, however, did not subscribe to the Bangladesh authorities’ claim that the Gulshan attackers are home-grown.

“This is not correct that the Holey Artisan attackers are home-grown. The attack was launched by IS,” said Gunaratna.

He said the ICPVTR had kept under surveillance the mediums through which the Gulshan attackers made their communications on the day of attack, 1 July 2016.

The security analyst said general criminals fled the scene whenever they see the presence of police, but the militants want to die.

“They didn’t go for any bargaining with the authorities after besieging the Holey Artisan restaurant. So, the police shouldn’t have waited for any special force.”

He underscored the need for building a mechanism for the rehabilitation of militants.

A group of gun wielding youths aged between 20 and 28 stormed a Spanish restaurant, Holey Artisan Bakery, in the diplomatic zone of Dhaka 1 July 2016, firing gunshots and charging bombs.

At least 28 people, including foreign nationals and six attackers, were killed as the commando force comprising military personnel launched an operation after 10-hour long hostage situation in the restaurant.