His plan was to form an online platform for radicalised youths who would be ready to work for the banned militant outfit, Ansar al Islam.
Self-radicalised 21-year-old Shahin Alam alias Omar Sharif, opened a Facebook group named “Darul Jannat” last year. Within a year, Shahin, a bachelor’s student of software engineering at a South Korean university, radicalised at least 33 people and added to his group.
The Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of police came to know about it following the confessional statements given by Shahin and two others at a metropolitan magistrate court in the capital.
The CTTC arrested Shahin and three of his associates -- Saiful Islam, Hanifuzzaman alias Biplob and Al Mamun -- from the capital’s Jatrabari area on October 10, Saiful Islam, deputy commissioner of the CTTC, told The Daily Star yesterday.
Gleaning information from the arrestees, the CTTC arrested Tareq Ibne Taher, another member of the online platform, from the capital’s Uttara area on October 14, the official said.
“We have already got some details of all the 33 members of the group. Shahin used to add members with a unique code number, so that no one can get their identities,” said the deputy commissioner.
DC Saiful said they have come to know that some of the youths who joined the online group already left home to work for the militant outfit.
The CTTC, however, could not confirm whether the arrestees had any direct link with Ansar al Islam.
“We are now monitoring activities of the other members in the group and conducting drives to arrest them,” he added.
According to CTTC and court sources, Hanfiuzzaman, a second-year student of Alamdanga Government Degree College, gave confessional statement before a Dhaka court on October 16.
In his statement, Hanif said he had joined the group after being inspired by Shahin.
Shahin came back to Bangladesh from South Korea On August 29 and met Hanif on the same day. The two then travelled to Khulna, where they met Saiful.
The three stayed in Sundarban and Bandarban’s Alikadam upazila in the last one and a half month for “training” purpose, Hanif also told the court.
On October 17, Saiful gave confessional statement in a court where he confessed that he had joined the platform to fight against the non-Muslims.
DC Saiful Islam said Shahin had no religious leader. He learned about militancy from various online contents.