• Friday, Dec 06, 2019
  • Last Update : 08:02 am

Bangladeshi IS recruiters among eight charged

  • Published at 01:41 am April 7th, 2019
Aminul Islam
Aminul Islam who recruited members for Islamic State and provided them shelter and training Focus Bangla

A court is likely to receive the charge sheet on April 24 to forward it to the Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal in Dhaka

The Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police has filed a charge sheet against eight persons for their involvement with acts of terrorism and alleged links to the Islamic State (IS).

Of the charged sheet accused, six are behind bars while cops have asked the court to issue arrest warrants against the remaining two, said Sub-inspector Md. Amir Hossain of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit.

A magistrate court is likely to receive the charge sheet on April 24 to forward it to the Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal in Dhaka.

The police are said to have found sufficient evidence against the accused -- Aminul Islam Beg, 38, Sakib Bin Kamal, 34, Kazi Saifuddin Yahya, 44, Gazi Kamrus Salam Sohan, 30, Abdullah Al Ghalib, 27, Fida Muntasir Saker, 29, Mohammad Saifullah Ozaki, and Mohammad Nazibullah Ansari, 30.

The case was filed with Uttara East Police Station on May 24, 2015, under the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2009.

Who are they?

One of the accused, Aminul, was regional co-coordinator of the banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). In May 2015, a Detective Branch team arrested him from a house in Uttara. In primary interrogation, he admitted that he  recruited members for Islamic State and provided them shelter and training. 

Another accused, Sakib, was arrested following the information gleaned from Aminul.

 Sub-inspector Md Amir Hossain, who submitted the charge sheet, found that being motivated by the activities of IS in Iraq and Syria, several JMB members including Aminul, Sakib, Ghalib, Saker, Yahya, Sohan, Ozaki, and Ansari, were motivated to commit some acts of militancy in Bangladesh.

Aminul Islam Beg and Saifullah Ozaki were behind the recruitment process. They patronized, sponsored, and guided a number of Bangladeshi youths to engage in militancy. 

The chain of radicalization 

Aminul is a graduate in Computer Science and Engineering from Multimedia University of Malaysia. In 2012, he searched the Internet to learn about ‘explanation of dreams’ and was overwhelmed by the YouTube lectures and sermons of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American who had turned into a firebrand preacher and effective recruiter for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. 

Aminul was a member of the Facebook group, ‘Ex-cadet Islamic Learning Forum,’ where topics of ‘repression against Muslims all over the world’ were discussed. 

Ozaki started the Facebook group, ‘Ex-Cadets Islamic Learning Forum,’ and used it to radicalize people. He would share some links and write ups on Islamic Jihad in the group’s page. Aminul got acquainted with Ozaki in 2013 and started brainwashing youths. 

Sakib, an engineer, taught mathematics at Lakehead Grammar School in Dhanmondi in 2011-2012. Later, he opened the Phrontistery School in Lalmatia and joined the JMB, inspired by Aminul in 2014. 

Another accused, Kazi Saifuddin Yahya, got acquainted with Ozaki in 2013. Yahya was also recruited by Ozaki and maintained communication with him online. 

The trio--Ozaki, Aminul, and Sakib--built up a close relationship with Yahya as they were of the same ideology. 

Gazi Kamrus Salam Sohan, an assistant engineer at Dhaka Electric Supply Company Limited, joined the Facebook group in 2013, and was assigned to collect and reserve funds.

Later in 2014, Ozaki and Aminul managed a Turkish Visa for Sohan and received him in Ankara upon his arrival. Sohan sneaked into Syria and was escorted by IS fighters to Raqqa. He returned home after staying there for five months.

The others accused were also involved with JMB and Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), a banned militant outfit, according to the charge sheet.

The investigators said they could not find the address and other details of Atik Sarkar, Sifat, Abdullah, Javed Kaysar and some 15/20 unidentified people, who were later dropped from the charge sheet.