The five suspected Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) operatives were arrested from Darus Salam in Mirpur area in Dhaka during a raid by the counter-terrorism unit last night, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) said in a statement.
"We raided their den on the basis of our intelligence reports and arrested the five operatives of the (old) JMB," a DMP spokesman told PTI.
Around 30 kg of chemicals in liquid and powder forms, which were the main ingredients to prepare explosives, and electronic equipment meant to make bombs alongside some extremist literature were recovered from the scene, the spokesman said.
"During preliminary interrogation, the militants told us that they had planned to carry out attacks on the (December) 31st night, during New Year celebrations," police's counter-terrorism unit chief Monirul Islam told a media briefing.
Guns and bombs were also seized from their possession in the overnight raid, local media reported, adding that Md Riaz alias Engineer alias Rakib is the leader of the group.
Another official familiar with the anti-terrorism campaign said old JMB has a stronger hold in the country's northwest. The five operatives arrested were working on the directives of their three leaders based in north-western Rajshahi district, the official said.
A breakaway faction of JMB constituted the Neo-JMB, which has pledged allegiance to the dreaded ISIS and carried out the July 1 terror attack on the Dhaka cafe in which 22 people, including 17 foreigners, were killed.
An Indian girl was among those killed in the country's worst terror attack.