Police on Tuesday arrested five operatives of banned outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh who were believed to have planned strikes in the country on New Year’s Eve. “In primary interrogation, the militants told us that they planned to carry out attacks on [December] 31st night during New Year celebrations,” said Monirul Islam, chief of the police’s counter-terrorism unit, Dhaka Tribune reported.

Authorities also seized 30 kg of explosives from the JMB militants, Monirul said. Group leader Mohammed Riaz alias Engineer alias Rakib – along with Mohammed Mamun alias Himel, Mohammed Abu Bin Sayeem alias Bappi alias Opu, Mohammed Sohag alias Chairman and Kazi Abdullah Al Osman alias Ahsan – were arrested from Dhaka’s Darus Salam locality on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the Dhaka Metropolitan Police told PTI that they raided the JMB operatives’ “den” following intelligence reports. Besides the explosives, which included chemicals in the form of powders and liquids, police also found guns, electronic equipment and extremist literature at their hideout, the spokesperson added.

While the New Year’s Eve attack was averted, Bangladesh had been targetted by a terror strike on July 1 after six militants stormed a popular café in a diplomatic area in Dhaka and killed 20 people. The Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for this carnage, but the government had asserted that local banned outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahdeen were behind it.