The Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit has found that Bangladeshi militant Yamin Miah aka Javed had connections with a Tunisian militant who was arrested on charges of terror plot in Belgium.
The CTTC officials extracted the information while quizzing Yamin, a member of banned militant outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team, arrested from Demra area on February 18.
Yamin had contacted Tunisian militant Marwan al-Isa, arrested by Belgian police in November last year, in an attempt to go to any Middle East or European country to join militants there. He had also applied for a passport to this end.
CTTC unit's Additional Deputy Commissioner Md Saiful Islam said: “Yamin was a member of the media wing at Ansarullah Bangla Team. We have found that he had connections with many people abroad. We are probing the matter.”
The CTTC officials found evidence of Yamin's links with Tunisian militant Marwan after seizing Yamin's mobile phone. The duo used to communicate by using secret apps and discussed how to carry out militant attacks.
During interrogation, Yamin said he was not able to contact Marwan for the last three months. They met each other on Facebook several years ago. Later, they exchanged mobile numbers and used to communicate over WhatsApp and Telegram.
Yamin was a final year student of chemical engineering department at Dhaka Polytechnic Institute. He admitted his involvement with Ansarullah Bangla Team since 2012 but tried to hide information.
The police officials interrogating Yamin assume that he was involved with the attacks carried out by Ansarullah on bloggers, authors and publishers from 2013 to 2016.
The Home Ministry banned the militant outfit on May 25, 2015 following a recommendation by police headquarters. Meanwhile, the outfit renamed Ansar al-Islam and continued operations.
Ansarullah Bangla Team is backed by al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). The militant outfit surfaced in 2013 after the killing of Gonojagoron Mancha activist and blogger Rajib Haider aka Thaba Baba. Later, the news of their alleged involvement in the killings of other bloggers also came before the media.
CTTC officials said Yamin served as a translator and video editor in the outfit's media wing. Evidence was found that he collected fund over the Rohingya issue. He used to collect fund for the organization as well. The investigators are trying to find whether he collected any fund from abroad, said an official preferring anonymity.
In 2014, police arrested a number of youths, with a drone, who mentioned Yamin's name as one of their accomplices. But police failed to trace him then.
Yamin's family lives at Bottola in Kodomtoli area. He had been detached from his family for several years, but had recently returned home. His father is a police constable.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com