‘Neo-JMB’ using female wing to recruit online
Counterterrorism unit officials of police claim to have identified around a hundred social media accounts, whose users have allegedly showed interest in joining militancy or the war in Syria.
A number of these users were waiting have meetings with leaders of IS-inspired militant outfit "Neo-JMB", a high official of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit, told The Daily Star on Sunday.
The CTTC unit unearthed the information after interrogating Shirina Khatun alias Tahsin Abdullah (23), the second-in-command of Neo-JMB's female wing.
Officials arrested Shirina from the capital's Gabtoli on Thursday. She was placed on a three-day remand for interrogation on Friday. Yesterday was the third day.
"Shirina has three to four social media accounts. She was responsible for maintaining communication with a number of Neo-JMB operatives and giving them instructions," SK Imran Hossain, assistant commissioner of CTTC unit, told The Daily Star.
She was working to set up a meeting between the top leadership of the outfit and these operatives but got arrested before that, said Imran. "We are now trying to trace the location of these social media accounts and take action against them after analysing their involvement," he added.
Hailing from Jhenidah, Shirina is a homemaker. She got married two years back but got separated within a year. Six months back, she married another person in Netrakona. Her husband studies at a madrasa.
Shirina got involved in militancy online, said officials. She was under the supervision of Neo JMB's female wing chief Asmani Khatun alias Asma, and last year became the second in command.
Asma was arrested by CTTC unit on February 4 from the capital's Kamalapur area, while holding meeting with four to five others as a part of their plans to carry out subversive activities, said officials, adding that she is now in jail.
Interrogating Shirina, investigators also came to know that she used to maintain link with Ansar al Islam and had direct contact with ABT member --Rashida Akter Humayra -- arrested by Rapid Action Battalion on March 2.
Officials said they are also investigating why she was maintaining communication with other groups.
A high official of CTTC unit told The Daily Star on Sunday that "Neo JMB" is now using its female members to maintain communication among the members and give directives to new recruits.
The outfit has been using the female wing allegedly for last one year. The female wing, presently led by eight to ten members, is mainly working for recruiting new member using social media, said the official.
Shirina was very active in this regard and used to "motivate" new recruits to join the outfit, said a CTTC official.
"We have also found communication history between Shirina and top Neo JMB leaders. The leaders used to contact her using pseudonyms like Abu Dujana, Islam Al Hind and Abu Mohammad," claimed the official requesting anonymity.
Shirina was also responsible for making a list of the outfit members. For example, if a member wanted to go to Syria then her task was to include that person in a specific group, the official said.
"We also got details of some mobile financial accounts from her and now we're going through those to get their transaction details," said CTTC Assistant Commissioner Imran.