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Exclusive: Man in latest IS video is Neaz Morshed Raja

  • Published at 09:49 pm March 15th, 2017
  • Last updated at 02:12 am March 17th, 2017
Exclusive: Man in latest IS video is Neaz Morshed Raja
The latest Islamic State (IS) video features Bangladeshi youth Neaz Morshed Raja, a suicide bomber who appeared on RAB’s list of missing persons last year. Sweden-based Bangladeshi journalist Tasneem Khalil said Raja was known as Abu Maryam al-Bengali in Arabic and died during an attack on Shia Muslims in Tikrit, Iraq on October 12, 2015. The former student of Sunshine Grammar School and College in Chittagong was number 192 on the RAB list of 261 missing persons published on July 20, but was dropped from the revised list of 68 persons on July 26.
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“We suspect that the person in the video is the missing Neaz Morshed, of Hathazari upazila in Chittagong,” RAB 3 Commanding Officer Lt Col Tuhin Mohammad Masud told the Dhaka Tribune. “We knew that he is out of the country but could not trace his location,” he added. Hathazari police OC Belal Mohammad Jahangir said that they had no idea about Raja and his activities, while the police’s Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crimes unit (CTTC) is yet to make a formal statement on the matter.
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Raja, originally from Hathazari in Chittagong, also studied at Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia. He used to work for HAH Corporation, a buying house in Dhaka, and lived with his wife and two children in the upmarket Baridhara area of the capital. His family members filed a general diary with Badda police station after he went missing. Geo-tagging then revealed his most recent Facebook post of May 25, 2015 was submitted from Lusaka, Zambia. The video “Words Mixed with Blood” is the third from IS to focus on Bangladesh and was first released via the terrorist group's hidden service on TOR network and Telegram channels early on Wednesday. It was later published by IS websites in Bangla including At-Tamkin. The narrator is Tahmid Rahman Shafi, as in the second video. The latest video once again opens up the debate on the presence of organisational structure in the country, something the Bangladesh government has vehemently denied.
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The government describes IS supporters as New JMB, a new faction of the Shayakh Abdur Rahman-led militant outfit, which surfaced in 2015. The Syria-based Salafist group's second video, released in September, showed the five terrorists who carried out the Gulshan attack making statements to justify their stance, criticising the democratic system and political leaders. The group claims their supporters in Bangladesh have carried out 26 attacks since September 2015, killing around 50 people including foreigners, non-Muslim and non-Sunni preachers, and law enforcers. In the first video, released only five days after the Holey Artisan Bakery attack on July 1, 2016, IS hailed the operation and called for jihad in Bangladesh. The video, which featured three Bangladeshi men including Tahmid Shafi, also threatened more attacks on “crusaders” and “crusader nations.”