The police have arrested two activists of Jamaat-e-Islami, who are suspected of spreading internet propaganda in favour of the terrorist outfit Islamic State.
Nahid Hasan, an honours student of Tongi’s Rahmatullah Degree College, and Abdul Haque, a madrasa teacher from Sylhet, were arrested around Tuesday midnight in separate drives at Badda and Tejgaon respectively.
Detective Branch chief Monirul Islam made the disclosure yesterday in a press conference at the DMP media centre.
Monirul, a joint commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, said both the arrestees had been active in spreading propaganda in social media and internet sites.
“Nahid was picked up from the capital’s Badda area around Tuesday midnight. DB members have arrested him for circulating Islamic State propaganda by opening a Facebook page named al-Dawla al-Islamiya. He also created a number of Facebook accounts named Jihadi John and Khalid-bin-Waleed – introducing himself as an army captain for the caliphate who conducted propaganda in favour of the IS through internet.
“Abdul Haque had issued threats to many people after spoofing [falsifying caller ID to show a different number for the caller] mobile phone numbers of three persons. He spoofed those people’s phone numbers to get them in trouble over previous rivalry,” the DB chief said.
Abdul, who hails from Sunamganj, is involved with Jamaat’s politics and has sound IT knowledge, Monirul said.
“So far we have found different groups have been giving death threats to some 153 eminent citizens... Some of them [citizens] were threatened by Abdul Haque,” the DMP spokesperson added.
A Dhaka court, meanwhile, placed both men on a one-day remand yesterday after the DB police produced Nahid with a three-day remand plea and Abdul with a 10-day plea.
Agents of Rita Katz
The DB chief also claimed yesterday that Rita Katz, co-founder of SITE intelligence group, has been using local agents in Bangladesh to spread misleading information and carrying out grey propaganda.
Monirul said Rita uses her website to provide intelligence agencies with information from different militant outfits, but she sometimes also hides information. The police suspect that Katz has been collecting information on militant groups from Bangladesh using local agents, he said.
Monirul added that there is no presence of Islamic State in Bangladesh, while other militant outfits whose presence were previously found now seem to have shut off their activities. The other outfits with only a little presence visible are trying to take credit in front of global militant outfits by associating themselves with different criminal offences, the DB chief added.