Both Bangladeshi and Australian authorities have said that Momena Shoma – the woman who stabbed a man in his sleep on February 9 in Melbourne was radicalized in Bangladesh.
Three days later, a team of Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) went to her family’s home in Kafrul, Dhaka for investigation, only to have one of their officers allegedly stabbed by her younger sister Asmaul Hosna Sumona.
CTTC arrested Asmaul while she allegedly yelled: “You are disbelievers. The rule of Islam should be established in the country. If necessary, we should do Jihad.”
Both the sisters have been radicalized through social media, according to law enforcement agencies.
Asmaul is currently on a five-day remand.
Their father is the vice-president of an insurance company and their mother passed away June 2015.
Her older sister Momena, 24, graduated from the English department of North South University (NSU) in 2016. Sources say that it was during her time at the university that she was
She began to wear conservative clothing and covered her head, soon after she joined NSU.
She even tried to go to Turkey in 2014, during the height of Islamic State’s recruitment. Her visa was denied, but sources said that she was mostly likely inspired by other New JMB members to go to Syria through Turkey.
Bangladeshi law enforcement agencies have not been able to confirm Momena’s involvement with any militant outfit, since she was arrested in Australia, but Melbourne’s police have said that the stabbing was an “Islamic State-inspired attack”.
Momena went to Melbourne, Australia on February 1 to study linguistics at La Trobe University, where she was given a 25% excellence scholarship. She completed her O Level from Loretto School in 2009 and A Level from Mastermind School in 2011.
The Dhaka Tribune went to the sisters’ home in Kafrul, but nobody was there. The security guard of the building, Motiur Rahman, said the sisters always wore burqas.