Faysal confessed to the authorities that he bought foldable knives to carry out attacks on Hindu police officers in Bangladesh
Law enforcement agencies in Bangladesh are seeking information on the migrant worker who was arrested for his alleged involvement in terrorist activities in Singapore.
Twenty-six-year-old Ahmed Faysal is suspected to be the same man that Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police have been investigating recently, The Straits Times reported quoting an official.
"We had no idea he was living in Singapore. All we knew is that he was someone living abroad and had been in online contact with some of our suspects," Deputy Commissioner Saiful Islam of the CTTC told the newspaper.
The law enforcement agency is now cross checking information about Faysal to confirm the two individuals are the same person.
Saiful said they came to know about Faysal through media reports and that they also did not know about the 15 other Bangladeshi nationals who were deported from Singapore.
Following his arrest on November 2, Singapore investigators said that he had been radicalized and had intended to carry out acts of armed violence in support of his religion.
In February 2017, he flew to Singapore as a migrant worker and got a job at a building products company. His radicalization reportedly began in 2018 when he started reading pro-Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) materials online.
Fluent in English and using social media, he actively disseminated pro-ISIS propaganda, in a mixture of English and Bangla, which showcased the oppression of Muslims in foreign lands and promoted armed violence.
Shafqat Munir, the head of the private think tank, Bangladesh Centre for Terrorism Research, said the authorities need to find out the all the factors that led to Faysal’s radicalisation.
He also said Faysal’s interrogation revealed details that shows how radicalisation is increasing on a global scale.
"A Bangladeshi national based in Singapore gets in touch with a Syria-based organisation and pretty seamlessly as well... This accentuates the seriousness of the challenge we face and it requires a significant amount of transnational cooperation to get to the bottom of this problem," Munir told The Straits Times.
Faysal confessed to the authorities he bought foldable knives to carry out attacks on Hindu police officers in Bangladesh.
His choice of "Hindu police officers" as a target also fits into a trend of recent attacks on police establishments in Bangladesh by ISIS sympathisers, said Mr Faiz Sobhan, senior research director at the Dhaka-based Bangladesh Enterprise Institute.
"I think the police - being part of law enforcement - is deemed in their eyes a legitimate target," he told The Straits Times.
In July, a bomb exploded in Pallabi police station that left five people injured. The incident had taken place against the backdrop of intelligence reports suggesting the members of New JMB, who follow Islamic State (IS) ideology, would try to carry out attacks in Bangladesh.
However, authorities denied the involvement of militants in the incident and suspect that it was the work of local criminal groups.