CTTC arrests Ansar Al Islam’s IT wing expert | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 07, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:55 AM, April 07, 2021

CTTC arrests Ansar Al Islam’s IT wing expert

Counterterrorism unit claimed to have arrested the militant outfit Ansar Al Islam's IT wing expert, who was planning to regroup and restart the outfit's operational activities, including targeted killing, along with sacked army major Syed Ziaul Haq.

For the purpose, the IT chief -- Baki Billah alias Abu Samir alias Zafar alias Faisal (34) -- was scheduled to meet Zia near Tongi railway station on March 26 last year.

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In an encrypted message, Zia told Billah that a person will meet him once he reached the station. The meeting, however, did not take place, due to law enforcers' vigilance, and since then Zia again went into hiding.

Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit claimed to have learned about the latest strategy of the militant outfit following arrest of Baki Billah and his associate.

The other arrestee was identified as Ariful Islam Jahed alias Ayman alias Arahan alias Rehan (30), they said.

Based on information, a special action group of CTTC unit arrested the two from the capital's Paltan area around 6:35pm on Monday night, Abdul Mannan, deputy commissioner of the unit, told The Daily Star yesterday.

A case was filed with Paltan Police Station against the two under anti-terrorism act.

DC Mannan said the outfit may seem to be neutralised but their online recruitment and fund collection in name of different welfare tasks are going on in full swing.

"We have got some details of the outfit's financers and are conducting drive to arrest them," he added.

According to officials, Ariful is the founding member of the outfit and he is the head of its Dhaka north unit and working for recruiting new members.

Ariful got involved with militant activities through a platform called Jama'atul Muslimin in 2008. Later, he got admitted to a private university in Dhaka.

While working for the outfit, he met sacked Maj Zia. He was responsible for recruiting private university students for the outfit.

In recent times, he has been recruiting members for the outfit through a Facebook group, said CTTC officials, involved with investigation.

Billah is the head of Ansar Al Islam's Information Technology (IT) and Anti-Surveillance Department. He started working for the outfit in 2014 through Zia.

Billah is the creator Ansar al-Islam's main media forum. He has also created encrypted media to secure the communications of its members, said the CTTC officials.

Recently, Billah customised a portable operating system to evade law enforcers, they added.

Both the arrestees were produced before a Dhaka court yesterday, which placed them on a four-day police remand.

Ahamedul Islam, additional deputy commissioner of CTTC unit, said the arrestees used to collect funds from their supporters and financers using mobile financing account.

"We have got some details about their sabotage plans and financial details. We would interrogate the arrestees in remand to glean out more information," added ADC Islam.

It should be mentioned that Xulhaz Mannan, an LGBT rights activist, and his friend Khandoker Mahbub Rabby Tonoy, were the victims of Ansar al Islam's last targeted killing in Dhaka in 2016.    

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